(CBS) For all the hopes of a crosstown trade, the Cubs and White Sox have discussed a blockbuster.
Those discussions with White Sox general manager Rick Hahn didn’t last long, as Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein explained to the Mully & Hanley Show on Thursday morning. The subject was ace left-hander Chris Sale last year.
“We had a really quick conversation about Sale,” Epstein said. “It lasted about 30 seconds based on some of the names involved that he would want. And not prospects, but big league players.”
Hahn set the bar high to acquire Sale, and he got his wish with a major deal that sent Sale to Boston in exchange for infielder Yoan Moncada, one of the top prospects in baseball, plus right-hander Michael Kopech and two others last December.
The Cubs weren’t willing to part with players at the big league level.
On Tuesday, Hahn spoke of the nature between the two Chicago clubs and the potential for a deal. The White Sox are in the process of a rebuild and have many assets available, led by new ace Jose Quintana.
“There is zero issue doing a deal with the Cubs or any of the other 28 teams after them,” Hahn said. “We’re about putting the White Sox in the best position. Hopefully, throughout our trades, both sides end up winners.”
Epstein doesn’t imagine a deal between the Cubs and the White Sox.
“This has been a kind of overblown media story,” Epstein said. “I think the teams are always going to talk, but it’s really unlikely to go anywhere from his standpoint or from our standpoint.
“But there’s no ill will, there’s no animosity, it’s just the reality of the situation. But will we exclude them from our coverage or our talks? No. Will they exclude us? No. But realistically, that’s not one you want to bet on.”
Listen to Epstein’s full interview below.