Comments PrintTony Dejak/AP
White Sox pitcher Chris Sale is only 26 and ranks among the most dominant starting pitchers in the game.
By Alex Speier Globe Staff  July 29, 2015

He’s the next-in-line dream trade candidate, a player whose age, dazzling talent, and remarkable contract make him the next pie-in-the-sky obsession, following the path of predecessors like Adrian Gonzalez and Giancarlo Stanton. Aside from, say, Mike Trout or Bryce Harper, it’s hard to imagine a player who would represent a more appealing roster option for the Red Sox than White Sox ace Chris Sale.
The 26-year-old lefthander possesses stuff that ranks among the most dominant pitchers in the game. He’s 9-5 with a 2.85 ERA along with an AL-leading 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings. Earlier this year, Sale reeled off eight straight starts in which he achieved double-digit strikeout totals, matching a record streak set by Pedro Martinez.

And he’s in the middle of a contract that represents a relative bargain, with two years and two options (one at $12.5 million, one at $13.5 million) remaining on the five-year, $32.5 million deal he signed prior to the 2013 season.
Sale represents the type of empty-the-farm talent who prompts teams to put in play even their supposedly untouchable players. That said, the four-time All-Star is so good and so affordable that it’s virtually impossible to imagine the White Sox ever dealing him.
Isn’t it?
“Anything can happen. I can imagine it all,” said White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper. “Hell, Babe Ruth got traded, right? So, sure, I can imagine it.”
Realistically, however, the White Sox aren’t about to sell on Sale to subsidize any theatrical productions. The 6-foot-6-inch pitcher with a condor’s wingspan, who combines a mid- to high-90s fastball, a wipeout slider that inspires either tears or off-days for lefthanded hitters, and a swing-and-miss changeup, is the closest thing that the big leagues has seen to a pitcher who was part of Martinez’s Hall of Fame class.
“I wasn’t around Randy Johnson, but it’s certainly a very fair comparison because they’re both tall, they both throw from similar angles and they both have outstanding arms and the ability to strike people out,” said Cooper. “With Randy Johnson, [Roger] Clemens, and [Nolan] Ryan, when …Read More