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Could White Sox' Chris Sale deal clear a path for an Andrew McCutchen trade?

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE 4:09: The Nationals are now "going for" McCutchen, Jon Heyman tweets.

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The White Sox have reportedly dealt Chris Sale to the Red Sox in a jaw-dropping trade that includes Yoan Moncada (the top overall prospect in the game) plus three other good prospects (Michael Kopech, Luis Alexander Basabe and Victor Diaz). It's hard to understate here how much talent the White Sox are getting -- no one prospect is a sure thing, but one would think Moncada alone would be worth more than Sale is.

The Nationals had also been interested in Sale, but it appears the White Sox understandably lost interest in whatever the Nats were offering when it became clear that Dave Dombrowski was willing to go nuts to acquire him. The Pirates connection, of course, is that the Pirates and Nats have also discussed Andrew McCutchen. It's possible, then, that Sale heading to Boston will clear a path for the Bucs to trade McCutchen to Washington if they want to.

It's also increasingly clear that if they do trade McCutchen, the Pirates should insist on top-of-the-line talent. McCutchen doesn't have as much trade value as Sale right now, but the haul the White Sox got for Sale is so ridiculous that it can't help but drive McCutchen's price upward.