By Jason Dobkin
The Nationals were ready to give up a host of top prospects to get Chris Sale from the White Sox.
They weren't able to nab the ace — Chicago decided to trade Sale to the Red Sox for a group of prospects headlined by second baseman Yoan Moncada — but it wasn't for lack of a competitive offer.
The Nats were deep in talks with the White Sox on Monday night, offering up two of their top prospects in right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito and outfielder Victor Robles. They were also reportedly willing to let go of another top pitching prospect, Reynaldo Lopez, who originally wasn't on the table.
Nats on Sale: This morning, they were willing to add Lopez to a package of Giolito and Robles. A huge haul. White Sox chose Moncada et al.— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) December 7, 2016
Giolito and Robles are two of the best prospects in baseball, and Lopez isn't far behind. Moncada, though, is considered possibly the No. 1 prospect. In addition to Moncada, the Red Sox also gave up stud pitching prospect Michael Kopech.
The Nats could have possibly gotten a deal done involving Trea Turner, but they weren't willing to budge on him.
The Nationals' missing on Sale comes not long after they also missed out on pitcher Mark Melancon, who signed with the Giants.
Considering how much Washington was willing to part with to get Sale, losing out on him probably hurts.
The Nationals missed out on a major trade target when news broke this afternoon that the White Sox had traded ace Chris Sale to the Red Sox.
The report comes from Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Washington had been the frontrunner to land Sale as recently as this morning. And as recently as 30 minutes ago, the Nationals vs. Red Sox contest seemed like it could go either way.
But apparently the Nats couldn't match Boston's offer of Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech plus two minor leaguers, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Moncada, Kopech and 2 very young minor leaguers go to chisox in Sale deal. Moncada, Kopech obvs the keys for CWS.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 6, 2016
Nats tried hard, offered top prospects. But CWS obvs liked moncada and kopech. Very high ceilings.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 6, 2016
Now, the dream rotation of Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Sale won't happen.
The trade for Sale was so close, it could impact other potential deals for the Nationals. The team reportedly explored trading Gio Gonzalez to the Yankees if Sale indeed ended up in Washington.
MORE NATIONALS: Report: Nats exploring trading Gio to Yankees