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White Sox rumors: Chris Sale, Jose Quintana talk dominating discussions

Rangers and Red Sox reportedly most interested in star pitchers

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

In his living autopsy of the 2016 season, Rick Hahn gave the impression that if he had to trade players off yet another sinking ship, he’d prefer to only move players outside the core.

There are a number of such players available:

*Bullpen: David Robertson has the greatest track record and the heaviest contract. Zach Duke could be in demand, considering he’s left-handed, exceeding his salary, and left-handed. Friday notwithstanding, Nate Jones has been sneaky good this year, and he has team options through 2020.

*Infield: As Todd Frazier has shown the White Sox, he can improve some bad third-base situations even in a down year. Brett Lawrie is a credible infielder for the price, although he’s battling a hamstring injury right now. It’d be kinda funny if Justin Morneau were a trade asset.

*Outfield: Melky Cabrera is back to his career norms.

But the talk keeps coming back to the guys the White Sox have tried and failed to build around, with Chris Sale and Jose Quintana drawing the most heat.

Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning news says the White Sox and Rangers "appear to be circling one another and doing due diligence."

The Rangers’ list of needs is long, but largely pitching-based. The have the prospect stock to make a run at Sale and Quintana, and they could use Zach Duke, too. Grant’s assessment of the White Sox’ level of interest:

The White Sox, who have lost five of their last six games and fallen six games back in the wild card race, have dispatched a veteran scout to see the Rangers in Anaheim. The Rangers played Jurickson Profar, a potential trade target for other clubs, at shortstop and batted him leadoff on Monday with scouts in attendance.

Profar doesn’t make much sense as a primary -- or maybe even secondary — piece. Injuries have caused him to soak up a lot of service time, and he’ll become a free agent after 2020 with Scott Boras as his agent. Likewise, Joey Gallo makes me nervous, what with the strikeout-heavy approach and the Rangers yanking him around this year. He spent a random week in May on the Texas bench with no role, but then he wasn’t called up to replace Prince Fielder. (Those at-bats are going to Profar right now, so perhaps he could get them shortly if Profar is dealt.)

The Rangers aren’t the only suitor, though. Jon Heyman says the Sox are being "inundated with calls," with the Red Sox checking in and the Dodgers in a position to do so. Heyman says the Red Sox could be interested in Robertson as well, since three of their relievers are on the disabled list.

Overall, the Orioles are the most active team of the morning: