Wednesday, December 7, 2016

By Any Measure, The Chris Sale Trade Is A Big Winner

Now that we've all had a few hours to digest the magnitude of the Chris Sale trade, let's enumerate some of the particulars—both positive and negative.

First, the Red Sox have acquired one of the top five available pitchers in all of baseball. The operative word here is 'available'Clayton Kershaw is not walking through that Red Sox clubhouse door. Sale is pretty damn close talent-wise. By adding Sale to a rotation of David Price, Rick Porcello, and Eduardo Rodriguez, we have one of the top rotations in all of MLB. And, we can afford to trade away one or two of either Drew Pomeranz, Clay Buchholz or Steven Wright. Those three in a weak pitchers' market can fetch added value to address other team needs;

Second, we lose three of our Top Ten organizational prospects—including the best in baseball in Yoan Moncada. Clearly, this is a gamble. If Moncada turns out to be a Robinson Cano-type player (or worse yet, another Mickey Mantle), we will regret this trade. But, honestly, even if that happens, and we win one or two championships with Sale—will you really complain? That said, if Moncada and Michael Kopech quickly transform the South-Siders into World Champs, it will be painful. But, how likely is that, really—particularly as The Pale Hose undergo a complete re-build?;

Third, we get an elite starter for relative chump-change. Sale comes with team-friendly financial terms for the next three years ($12M, $12.5M, $15M), and is still just 27 years-old—right in his prime. Given John Henry's obsession with staying under the luxury tax threshold, this is a big factor;

Fourth, we have to pay the White Sox all $31 million left on Moncada's bonus money. This hurts—but doesn't count against the luxury tax (as we understand it).

All in all, we feel the obvious 'plusses' far outweigh the 'minuses' in this transaction. Good job, Dave Dombrowski!