The White Sox are reportedly willing to trade Chris Sale; the Red Sox should do whatever it takes to bring him to Boston.
Every few weeks or so, we in Red Sox Nation contemplate our chances of securing an elite starting pitcher to compliment David Price and a star-studded offense.
The name that has consistently topped that list is Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox, who, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports, is currently on the semi-trading block. The White Sox are reportedly listening to offers from a variety of teams, including the Red Sox.
Throughout his seven year career, Sale has been nothing short of dominant. A four-time Cy Young finalist, Sale has recorded a career ERA of 2.95, a 71-43 record, a WHIP of 1.064, and 1140 strikeouts. He led the league in strikeouts in 2015.
At present, Sale leads the MLB in wins (14), has the seventh lowest WHIP (1.008), the ninth highest win/loss percentage (.824), the fourth most innings pitched (133), and the second most complete games (3).
In short, Sale is one of the league’s premier pitchers and, as every Red Sox fan has said too many times this season, the Red Sox need pitching. Translation: the Red Sox should do whatever they can to bring Chris Sale to Boston.
It is widely believed that a trade for Sale would require the Red Sox to send multiple arms and a few legs to Chicago.
The White Sox are seeking, per Heyman’s report, five top prospects for Sale. And with such a deep bench of prospects, the Red Sox should do whatever it takes, and value Sale over everyone else.
One player that the Red Sox will most likely have to move will be Rafael Devers, who is one of the league’s top prospects at third base. Devers is a lefty that has power at the plate, and has been ranked by some as one of the top prospects in the league. If the Red Sox can land Sale, it is worth trading Devers.
Two pitching prospects that will most likely come up during trade talks will be LHP Brian Johnson and RHP Michael Kopech. While Kopech is the better of the two, I’m comfortable dealing either should it mean landing Sale. I’ve always been of the opinion that, while it is high reward, it is too risky to hang on to pitching prospects, especially when you can land an elite pitcher like Sale, who can propel you to the World Series, now. Not to mention, Sale is only 27, and signed a five-year deal in 2013, meaning that the Red Sox will be able to renegotiate when he reaches the age of 30.
Earlier this year, Dave Dembrowski said that he would not even discuss trading second baseman Yoan Moncada or outfielder Andrew Benintendi. That was in June, and things have changed. I understand Moncada, however, why not Benintendi?
Since he joined the Portland Sea Dogs, he has played 34 games, recording a .341 batting average (.304 on the season), 32 RBIs (65) 13 doubles (28), and 46 hits (104). His offensive abilities, combined with his speed and defensive prowess, make him one of the league’s top prospects. While I understand Benintenedi’s skill and value, I’m not against trading him for Sale. After all, the Red Sox are currently overflowing with young talent in the outfield. There are only a handful of players that I would trade him for, and Sale is one of them.
Benintendi, Devers, Kopech, and Johnson are only a few of the valuable prospects that the Red Sox would be able to deal to the White Sox, not to mention a handful of players that are already in the major leagues, including Eduardo Rodriguez or Rick Porcello. Personally, I’m fine with trading either.
As Evan Nigro pointed out in his article, Dembrowski has earned a reputation as a GM who is willing to make big trades to bring in even bigger names. And, hopefully, he will agree with me and put Sale over everyone else.