The Boston Red Sox have acquired left-handed starting pitcher Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday, as first reported by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
In exchange for the ace Sale, the White Sox will recieve four prospects including infielder Yoan Moncada, right-handed pitcher Michael Kopech, outifelder Luis Alexander Basabe, and right-handed pithcer Victor Diaz.
In addition to the Red Sox, the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves were two other teams to show serious interest in Sale. It was thought that the Nationals were close to acquiring him as of last night in a deal centered around Lucas Giolito.
Today, however, Rosenthal reported that the Red Sox were still in the mix and trying to make a late run at him. Obviously, it appears that it was a successful attempt.
The acquisition of Sale is huge for the Red Sox, who can now add him to a rotation that boasts the likes of David Price, Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez and Clay Buccholz.
In 2016, the Red Sox rotation was worth a total of 13.9 WAR, good for 7th best in the Major Leagues. With a 4.22 ERA, they ranked 8th. Despite a solid rotation, the Red Sox were quickly eliminated by the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 ALDS. They hope that Sale will not only improve their rotation but will also take them to another World Series championship.
As for the White Sox, trading Sale makes a lot of sense. They could not contend last season, going 78-84 and finishing fourth in the American League Central. Now, they are able to expidite a rebuilding process with the likes of Moncada and Kopech, two of the more exciting prospects in the minor leagues.
Sale's trade value was among the highest in the Majors before the trade and the deal definitely reflects it. He is under contract through 2019 with team options that would make it a three-year, $38.5 million contract from 2017 forward.
Contract aside, Sale is one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball.
In 2016, Sale pitched 226.2 innings to a 3.34 ERA and a 233-45 K/BB ratio in 32 starts. According to FanGraphs, he posted a 3.46 FIP, a 3.58 xFIP and was worth 5.2 Wins Above Replacement.