Chris Sale still could make another start for the White Sox, as he’ll be on regular rest for the final game of the season. Neither he nor Robin Ventura, but the sense from the clubhouse on Tuesday was that he wrapped up his season with a win against the Rays, his 17th, since he slipped into the past tense to talk about his season:
"I feel as good now as I ever have on a baseball field, physically," Sale said. "I think this year was the best overall in terms of feeling strong at the end and still having more in the tank." [...]
Sale said he never contemplated whether Tuesday’s start might have been his last in a Sox uniform.
"That stuff is going to work itself out," Sale said. "I don’t read too much into that stuff. So whether I’m here, there or anywhere – a little Dr. Seuss for you – I’ll be there."
It’d be cool if he got one more chance to start, even if it’s an abbreviated outing, as it would fall on the final game of the season. For one, there may not be a next start for Sale in a White Sox uniform otherwise. There’s also the matter of the Cy Young, which is still probably Rick Porcello’s, but a little more open perhaps since Corey Kluber has a strained quad. A smaller update of the big board:
But if nobody involved is interested in chasing hardware, sentimentality and/or a potential bid at .500, then it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to have Sale go through the whole pre-start preparation cycle. He's already set a career high in innings, and there's a whole expanded bullpen there ready to go with normal days all around.
Alexei Ramirez was happy to be honored by White Sox fans as he stepped into the batter's box on Monday.
"It made me very happy to see that the fans still remember me," Ramirez said through an interpreter. "The least I could do was tip my cap to them for the support over the years I was here."
Alas, his last month with the Rays isn't going any better than the first five with the Padres. He's hitting .249/.270/.325 over 141 games, so guaranteed work might be hard to find. Then again...
... if Gordon Beckham keeps getting work, we might have to recalibrate. After a hot first half that ended with a fine showing against the White Sox, Beckham has collapsed in the second, hitting .158/.228/.271 over 149 PA to knock him back down to his norms in Chicago.
The Giants are fighting for the wild card with a shortage of infielder, which is why they acquired Beckham for one week (he's ineligible from postseason rosters since he wasn't in the organization on Sept. 1).
Wilson Ramos positioned himself for a major payday this winter after hitting .307/.354/.496 for the Nationals this season. Then his leg buckled under him after jumping to catch a relay throw home, and now he's torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time. He'll still be a free agent, and potentially an attractive one, but a long-term deal might be harder to find (the same with a qualifying offer).
The already-thin free agent market took another hit when Martin Prado signed a three-year, $40 million extension to stay with the Miami Marlins. The timing is a little unusual. The result isn't. The Marlins haven't had much of an interest in trading him despite the market being favorable, he's hitting .304/.359/.413, and he was the guy who spoke to the media on behalf of the players after the death of Jose Fernandez. He fits.
With Prado off the board and David Freese signing an extension with Pittsburgh, Justin Turner is the only impending free agent third baseman you'd feel OK penciling into an everyday role, with Jae-gyun Hwang lurking as a compelling option in South Korea. This could help the White Sox if they're thinking about trading Todd Frazier over the offseason.
Speaking of Fernandez, Jeff Passan's article isn't easy to read, but it's great reporting.