NATIONAL HARBOR – (Staff and wire service report) – Chris Sale is headed to Boston in a winter blockbuster deal. The Red Sox reportedly acquired Sale from the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday for top prospect Yoan Moncada and prospects Michael Kopech, Luis Basabe and Victor Diaz. Sale, a five-time All-Star and the American League strikeouts leader in 2015, joins forces with reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and former Cy Young recipient David Price.
The ace southpaw was long rumored to be on the trade market and was reportedly on the verge of being traded to the Washington Nationals as of Tuesday morning.
There were rumors tying Sale to the Red Sox before last July’s trade deadline, some suggesting Boston would have to give up young stars Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi to acquire the pitcher, but early reports from the likes of Fox Sports and the Boston Globe indicated top prospect Moncada was the main niece of the puzzle.
Sale, 27, is 74-50 with a 3.00 ERA and 1,244 strikeouts in 228 career games (148 starts), all with the White Sox. In 2016, Sale posted a 17-10 record and a 3.34 ERA with 233 punchouts over 32 starts.
Moncada, a 21-year-old Cuban infielder widely viewed as the top prospect in baseball, struggled after making his major league debut in 2016, batting .211 (4-for-19) with one RBI in eight games with the Red Sox.
Kopech, a 20-year-old right-handed pitcher, is the fourth-rated prospect in the Red Sox’s system according to Baseball America. Basabe, a 20-year-old outfielder, is ranked eighth. Diaz is a 22-year-old right-hander.