The St. Louis Cardinals have been mentioned as an obvious trade destination for Red Sox lefty Chris Sale, but there’s a big reason it doesn’t make sense.
Whenever the rumors that the Boston Red Sox could potentially be willing to discuss a Chris Sale trade started popping up, one of the first potential landing spots and trade partners people thought of was the St. Louis Cardinals.
Though the Redbirds have a strong staff, adding a former Cy Young-winning southpaw to the mix after adding Jordan Montgomery at the trade deadline last season would be a phenomenal move in theory.
However, you don’t have to dig deep to see where it could also be a bad idea. In fact, there’s one clear reason why the Cardinals need to stay away from any Chris Sale trade.
St. Louis Cardinals: Simple reason not to trade for Chris Sale
At the core of it, the reason that the Cardinals should be wary of a Chris Sale trade is among the reasons that the Red Sox would consider dealing him in the first place. When you ask the question of if the lefty can be counted on, it’s hard to answer emphatically yes.
Sale has made just 11 starts over the past three seasons after suffering a variety of injuries that span from undergoing Tommy John surgery, breaking his wrist on a comebacker, and a bike accident that ended his 2022 season, among other absences as well.
Now to be sure, he’s looked good overall when on the field. Over those 11 starts, Sale has a 3.17 ERA with a 148 ERA+, so he’s gotten the job done. But how could a team, especially ones with the aspirations of St. Louis, possibly feel good about giving up prospects to take on a big contract and a player who just can’t stay on the field? That’s only exacerbated by the fact that Sale will be 34 years old on March 30 of next year.
All told, the notion of the Cardinals trading for Chris Sale sounds good on the surface. But when you look at the player who simply hasn’t taken the mound enough to be the perennial All-Star and ace he once was in recent seasons, that idea starts to look a lot less appealing.