On Tuesday, the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox pulled of a huge blockbuster trade.
Boston will see immediate help from the trade after acquiring White Sox ace Chris Sale for four prospects from the Red Sox. Yoan Moncada is the big name in the list of prospects.
Instantly, Boston became the favorites to win next season’s American League pennant.
The Red Sox, in acquiring Sale, now have one of baseball’s five best pitchers.
Since becoming a major league starter full time in 2012, Sale is No. 4 amongst all starting pitchers for strikeout rate; No. 10 in walk rate; No. 3 in ERA that is park-adjusted; No. 2 in fielding independent pitching that is park-adjusted; and No. 4 in Wins Above Replacement behind just Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw and new teammate David Price.
Despite having a thin frame at 6-foot-6 and just 180 pounds and pitching at an angle of three quarters, Sale has defied his critics that predict he will suffer from injuries. He has averaged over 4 seasons more than 203 innings per year.
Sale will not be just this year or else kind of acquisition. He is just 27 and in his prime. His deadly combination of fastball-slider produced impressive results in 2016.
Boston also gains the control of the rights of Sale through the 2019 season. The three years will cost only $38 million.
David Price became a Red Sox pitcher last season and cost Boston $31 million a year for seven years. Sale is almost 3 ½ years younger than Price and has a similar record of accomplishment so he should be considered a bargain.
Chicago gains Moncada the Red Sox tops prospect and one of the top in all of baseball. At only 21, Moncada has a swing that has already been described, as one the game’s sweetest. He debuted in the majors this past season with Boston and could be an anchor at second for Chicago for years to come.
Another significant pickup in the deal for Chicago was Michael Kopech. The right-hander, who is just 20, ranked as a good prospect as he has struck out 38% of the batters he has faced at two Class A levels and during that period had an ERA of 2.08.
He did break a hand during a fight last season with a teammate so his resume is not perfect, but his fastball has hit 100 mph, and his change and slider have kept hitters off balance.