St. Louis Cardinals: 5 Unexplored Pitching Trades

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Chris Sale

Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Watching Chris Sale pitch is like watching a trained contortionist in the circus. You feel kind of squeamish, cringing at every twist and hitch, half expecting the left-hander’s golden arm to snap in half. I remember when Sale was coming up in the Sox system, every prospect expert insisted he had to change his delivery or suffer an inevitable career-ending elbow and/or shoulder injury.

Well, here we are, six years later, and Sale has entrenched himself as one of the more durable, dominant pitchers in the big leagues. But because he plays for the moribund White Sox, Sale is a starting pitcher the St. Louis Cardinals should check in on if they haven’t already.

The 6-foot-6, 180-lb. Gumby of a pitcher has made four straight All-Star Games, and would have won the 2014 Cy Young had he not missed a few starts that year. His WHIP for that season was an unreal 0.96. Last year, he led the league with 274 Ks.

Ask any hitter who’s face him, and they’ll tell how unnerving that mid-90s fastball and nasty slider are coming from Sale’s herky-jerky inverted-W sidewinder delivery. It doesn’t matter if you hit left- or right-handed. Well, it kind of does. Righties bat .230 against him. Lefties hit just .203.

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Sale is under contract through 2017, and he remains an enigma to team executives and coaches, many of whom think he’ll break at any second. If the St. Louis Cardinals make the right kind of offer, maybe the Sox will come to terms that they simply can’t win, with or without Sale, as the team stands now.