The Boston Red Sox President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski, made a stunning move this afternoon, acquiring White Sox ace Chris Sale. The deal included Red Sox number one prospect Yoan Moncada, as well as their number five prospect, Michael Kopech. In addition, the Red Sox agreed to pay the remainder of Moncada’s $31.2 million salary. The Red Sox also parted ways with two other promising prospects in their farm system in order to finalize the deal. This was a blockbuster deal that left people around the MLB stunned. Now that the deal is completed, it is time to analyze the trade from both sides.
The White Sox aren’t going anywhere any time soon. After finishing up in 4th place of the American League Central for the 3rd year in a row, White Sox management knew it was time to start selling. Sale was the piece that brought teams from all over the MLB flocking to the White Sox front steps. The Red Sox being one of those teams. For months, rumors had been flying around indicating that the Red Sox were huge contenders in the Sale sweepstakes. For once, those rumors came to fruition.
The White Sox did an impeccable job getting the most for Sale. Moncada is the number one prospect in all of baseball. He has power, speed, and the potential to be the best overall player in the league one day. In addition to Moncada, the White Sox acquired Michael Kopech who is only 20 years old and lights up the radar, routinely reaching 100 MPH with his fastball. These two players are ones that you can build your franchise around. They have the attributes that put them in a class by themselves. The White Sox didn’t stop there. They also acquired two more prospects from the Red Sox, Victor Diaz and Luis Basabe, who have both shown promising signs in their early stages of development. The assortment of prospects the White Sox gathered today is a win in itself. Sale’s contract expires at the end of 2017 and the White Sox were not going to be able to match the price that Sale is going to demand. The White sox pulled the trigger and are a better team for it.
As for the Red Sox, I absolutely love this move as well. Sale is currently in the prime of his career at the ripe age of 27. Sale is a potential Cy Young Award winner every single year. The addition of the tall, lanky, lefty has established the rotation as one of the best in the league and makes the Red Sox the team to beat coming out of the American League. The pieces the Red Sox gave up were substantial in order to acquire Sale, but the risk is certainly worth it. Moncada is said to be talented beyond his years, but during his brief stint with the Red Sox last year, he struggled to hit anything off-speed. Pitchers were able to scout him and find an extremely worrisome weakness. In addition, Kopech is destined to be a stud pitcher one day, but he has already shown signs of an injury riddled career, having Tommy John surgery before the age of 20. Kopech also has a long history of being a complete lunatic. In an altercation with his roommate last year, Kopech broke his hand and was also suspended 50 games for taking an illegal substance. Both Moncada and Kopech have potential to become superstars in the MLB but have yet to prove that.
The Red Sox did an admirable job being able to keep the young core of players that led them to an American League East title. Being able to acquire Sale from the White Sox without giving up Jackie Bradley Jr, Mookie Betts, or Xander Bogaerts would have been impossible last season. The Red Sox were patient and pounced on their opportunity.
It is rare to see a trade that works out for both sides. The White Sox have taken a risk to acquire players with immense potential but have yet to prove it. As for the Red Sox, they have established themselves as the bully of the American League and have taken the necessary steps to compete for a World Series title in 2017.