MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ; Red Sox Get Sale in Blockbuster Trade

By Walker, Ben | Charleston Gazette Mail, December 7, 2016 | Go to article overview

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ; Red Sox Get Sale in Blockbuster Trade


Walker, Ben, Charleston Gazette Mail


OXON HILL, Md. - No surprise that Chris Sale got traded. The real shocker? That the Boston Red Sox swooped in to snag him. The reloading Red Sox pulled off the biggest deal yet at the winter meetings, acquiring the dominant ace from the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday for a hefty package of four prospects.

"The ability to get a Chris Sale doesn't come along very often, Boston president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said.

Sale joined an already talented rotation with the American League East champions, now pitching alongside 2016 AL Young Award winner Rick Porcello, former winner David Price and knuckleballer Steven Wright. He leaves behind a shredded reputation in Chicago, suspended by the team last summer after he flew into a rage and cut up retro uniforms that club was supposed to wear.

The 27-year-old Sale has been an All-Star in each of the last five seasons, finishing high in Cy Young Award voting every time, but has never played in the postseason. To get him, Boston traded high-priced third baseman Yoan Moncada, considered by many the top young talent in baseball, along with pitchers Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz, and outfielder Luis Basabe.

Sale was a top trade target across the majors this offseason, and Washington seemed to be the favorite to land him this week.

"We put a lot of effort into it and thought we made a good, valiant effort ... and we fell short, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said.

"We reached as far as we were going to reach in the trade with the White Sox, he said, adding he'd "been engaged with them for a couple of weeks informally and then it ratcheted up right before the meetings.

Dombrowski said he began talking to the White Sox in earnest on Friday.

"I guess you can look at quickness in different ways, Dombrowski said.

To New York Mets manager Terry Collins, it was a great deal - for him, being division rivals of the NL East champion Nats.

"I really thought for sure he was going to end up in Washington. I really did, Collins said. "We dodged a bullet.

A few hours earlier, Boston got prime setup man Tyler Thornburg from Milwaukee. After that deal was announced, without tipping his hand, Dombrowski said, "We're trying to win now, as you can see.

Few knew then exactly how hard they were trying.

"That's a big one. That's a blockbuster. That was a wow, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.

Sale was 17-10 with a 3.34 ERA and 233 strikeouts this year, a season after he led the majors by fanning 274. …

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