Chris Sale is coming to Boston! The Boston Red Sox made a monumental trade with the Chicago White Sox this afternoon at the winter meetings. The White Sox send left-handed star and ace pitcher Chris Sale to Boston for four top prospects. Chicago will acquire switch-hitting i nfielderYoan Moncada, right-handers Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz, and outfielder Luis Basabe in the trade. Baseball America and mlb.com both have ranked Yoan Moncada as the No. 1 baseball prospect in 2016.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the agreement as well as that Moncada and Kopech were in the deal via Twitter
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 6, 2016
Bob Nightingale of USA Today added that Basabe and Diaz were part of the trade via Twitter
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 6, 2016
Chicago is looking towards the future due to all the of the disappointments as of late. Chicago and Sale are parting ways partly because of an eight-year playoff drought. It may be time to clean house and start fresh with young players. White Sox general manager Rick Hahn spoke about the blockbuster deal.
“When you trade a pitcher of Chris Sale’s ability, it can only be because we were motivated by an impactful return of young talent, and we have more than accomplished that,” Hahn said in a statement. “We believe each of these players can be part of a quality core of future championship caliber White Sox teams.”
Hahn went on to say, “I know from the fans I hear from, the middle of the night voicemails I get and letters I receive, that people are ready for there to be a change in approach in how we’re doing things,” Hahn said. “We’re trying to do this for the long term, and if in the short term there’s potentially some hardship along the way, we know that’s the natural price you pay.”
The New York Yankees showed interest in Sale early but the price tag was just too high. They eventually pulled out as a result like many other teams such as the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves. Washington, however, was not deterred. They were ready to lay their cards down on the table and pick up their ace of spades.
According to mlb.com, the Nats were offering their top three prospects. The first was Outfielder Victor Robles. Robles is an all around solid player who knows how to swing a bat and is fast around the bases. The Nats were also offering Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, their top pitching prospects. Giolito and Lopez are both potential immediate impact players. All three prospects are ranked among the top 40, Giolito and Lopez ranked top 10, and have an enormous upside in the majors.
The Nationals had Sale in their palms. Social media even confirmed that a deal was nearly finished to bring him to Washington. Everything seemed great. Fans and people in the front office alike went to bed Monday with the thought that they landed the ace. They woke up Tuesday Morning however to a totally different story.The White Sox leaked the Nationals offer in an attempt to get the best value for Sale and it worked like a charm.
Boston jumped at the chance to get the dynamic lefty. The Red Sox gave up a lot of future talent to reel in the big fish. The deal was a no-brainer for Chicago, and Boston increased its depth at the mound next season. Chicago gets a nice jumpstart to their next line of talent while Boston strengthens their already impressive bullpen.
Chris Sale went 17-10 with a 3.34 ERA over a career-high 226 2/3 innings this year. In his career, he is 74-50 with an ERA of 3.00 even and a 1.06 WHIP. He has recorded 1224 strikeouts in 1110 innings. Sale recorded 12 saves over the past six years as well. In each of the last four years, he has been a top-five finisher in American League Cy Young voting.
A new era in the Chris Sale saga begins and as a result, one ends. Fans won’t soon forget all he did for the windy city. “We cannot thank Chris enough for all he has done and what he has meant for the White Sox organization since we drafted him in 2010,” Hahn said. “We certainly wish (him) and his family all the best.”
Boston is ready for spring training. Chris Sale is ready for a fresh start. There’s a buzz in the air as the Fenway faithful can’t wait to see their new acquisition take the mound. Things are looking good. Boston was a strong contender for the American League Pennant before so now a World Series Championship is a valid discussion.