In one of the biggest trades of the offseason, Chris Sale is shipping up to Boston.
The Red Sox sold the farm to get possibly the best pitcher in the American League. On Tuesday the Red Sox traded Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Alexander Basabe, and Victor Diaz to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Sale. Moncada, has been recognized as the Red Sox’s top prospect, as well as one of the top prospects in baseball. Michael Kopech, another top prospect, reportedly hit 105 mph on a pitch during a minor league game this year. Basabe, an outfielder, and Diaz, a pitcher, were also two valued prospects in the Red Sox’s farm system.
Chris Sale, 27, is coming off a season where he compiled a 17-10 record with a 3.34 ERA. Sale also pitched a career high 6 complete games and 1 shutout. Not much controversy has surrounded Sale with the exception of an incident earlier this year. While the Chicago White Sox were taking batting practice, Sale used a knife to destroy the team’s throwback jerseys for that day’s game. Sale faced a 5 game suspension for the incident.
The Red Sox now have one of the best pitching rotations in the American League. With Chris Sale, David Price, 2016 Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello, Steven Wright, Clay Buchholz, and more, the Sox are stacked. With this trade the Sox have essentially three aces. However, it is still easy to wonder whether this trade might hurt the Red Sox in the long run. After giving up a few top prospects, the Red Sox’s minor league system is no longer one of the best in baseball.
That same day the Red Sox also traded third basemen Travis Shaw to the Milwaukee Brewers for relief pitcher Tyler Thornburg. After trading Shaw and Moncada, both third basemen, the Red Sox have shown a clear commitment to Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval sat out 2016 with an injury and was less than impressive in 2015, his first year with the Red Sox. Hitting a career low average of .245 and only 10 homeruns, Sandoval looks to improve in 2017. Reportedly, Sandoval has undergone a dramatic transformation due to the large amount of weight he’s lost during the season.
It will be interesting to see whether or not this gamble pays off for the Red Sox. Clearly having a “Win Now” mentality, the Red Sox look to boast the best pitching rotation. Hoping to improve on their great 93-69 record of 2016, the Red Sox have their eye on another title.