By Frank Wolf
The big news Tuesday in Major League Baseball wasn’t the announcement that the New York Yankees had decided on a date to retire Derek Jeter’s number. No, it was the blockbuster deal between the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox.
Boston acquired LHP Chris Sale from Chicago for INF Yoan Moncada, RHP Michael Kopech and two (2) prospects. Sale will join David Price and 2016 Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello to form what should be a dominant Red Sox rotation.
Sale’s contract runs through 2019 and is guaranteed $12 million in ’17. Boston and other clubs including the Washington Nationals were considered the front-runners to land Sale. The White Sox wanted big time prospects and the Nats were not interested in the price tag which reportedly meant parting ways with Victor Robles (OF) and Lucas Giolito (SP) in exchange for the 27-year old lefty.
Sale has averaged 235 K’s the past 4 seasons. Statistically 2014 was a very good year for Sale who posted a 12-4 record, 2.17 ERA and .97 WHIP. Career Stats: Chris Sale Career Stats
Boston is not in a full-scale rebuild like Chicago seems to be in. Moncada and Kopech are considered to be two of the best young prospects in all of baseball. It’s a big gamble on the part of Dave Dombrowski, who is in his 2nd year as President of Baseball Operations in Boston. Clearly Dombrowski is feeling some of that Fenway pressure after watching his 2016 AL East Division Champion team swept out of the first round by Cleveland.
In addition to Sale, December has been a busy month for Dombrowski. The Red Sox made a move to acquire reliever Tyler Thornburg and signed free agent 1st baseman/DH Mitch Moreland within the last week. The Sox are clearly looking to improve on 2016 by making the deal for Sale and adding depth in the bullpen and in the lineup.
The only question now is Dombrowski finished wheeling and dealing?