The Boston Red Sox pulled off a stunning blockbuster trade on Tuesday, acquiring coveted ace Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 6, 2016
Sale was rumored to soon be on his way to Washington, but Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowski swooped in and won the White Sox over by offering top prospect Yoan Moncada. The ex-White Sox star joins an impressive rotation that includes David Price and 2016 AL Cy Young winner Rick Porcello. That should scare the bajesus out of the rest of the American League.
Sale, who turns 28 in March, has been in the Cy Young conversation for each of the last five seasons. That kind of consistency is exactly what Boston needs, especially since they don’t really know what to expect from the likes of Price and Porcello in 2017. Make no mistake about it, the acquisition of Sale is a huge win for a Red Sox team that clearly wants to win now rather than focus too much on years down the road.
That’s why giving up such a rare, young talent like 21-year-old shortstop Moncada was a no-brainer for Dombrowski and the Red Sox front office. Does Moncada have the chance to eventually be one of the best all-around players in the league? Of course he does. But the Sox chose to go with the proven arm rather than wait and see how Moncada fits in to the roster.
Not only does this trade mean Boston’s rotation is now among the most filthy in baseball, it also means the Red Sox have a ton of faith in Pablo Sandoval. That might come back to haunt them, but a recent Sandoval photo emerged and he actually looks like he’s kind of in shape.
I, along with everyone else, have been pretty critical of Sandoval since he joined the Red Sox. That being said, I’m willing to take back everything if he checks in to the regular season looking like that and has a comeback year similar to what Hanley Ramirez did in 2016. All eyes will be on Sandoval, because if he sucks yet again then giving up Moncada looks much, much worse than it does right now.
On the White Sox’s side, they should be happy with the deal as well. Moncada is no joke, and Sale sort of seemed like he was fed up with the organization anyway. I don’t think they could’ve gotten a better deal for Sale, and there’s no doubt Boston’s offer blew away whatever the Nationals tried to do.
All in all, it’s impossible to tell who “won” this trade as of today. It’s a solid swap that should benefit both teams moving forward. Of course, if Sale pulls a David Price and struggles in his first year in Boston, all hell will break lose.
Until then, enjoy daydreaming of that rotation Sox fans.