December 6th, 2016: Red Sox acquire Chris Sale from the White Sox for IF Yoan Moncada, RHP Michael Kopech, OF Luis Alexander Basabe, RHP Victor Diaz
After an embarrassing sweep against the Cleveland Indians in 2016 and David Ortiz‘s retirement, Dave Dombrowski knew he had to make a big move somewhere. This move came during winter meetings, when he traded lefty ace Chris Sale.
Since acquiring Sale, he has been fantastic. In his first season, he had a 2.90 ERA with and lead the league with 308 strikeouts and 214 innings pitched. This season he has spent some time on the DL, but when pitching he has a 2.11 ERA and an FIP of 1.98.
In Chicago, things have not gone so smoothly. In his first full season, Yoan Moncada struggled, striking out 33.5% of the time and posting a 94 wRC+. He also has yet to show the power and speed he displayed through the minors. He was the No. 2 prospect in baseball when he was traded. There is still plenty of time for him to grow into a star, but the early returns have not been what the White Sox are looking for.
Michael Kopech made his debut this season, struggling in the 14 innings he pitched, before it was announced that he would need Tommy John surgery.
Of the two lesser name guys, Luis Alexander Basabe is more likely to make an impact at some point. He is currently the White Sox No. 9 prospect. He had a decent minor league season, starting the year in A+ dominating with a .873 OPS then posting a .734 OPS in AA. He is likely still a couple years from the majors. Since being traded, Victor Diaz has thrown just 12 innings due to injuries.
Who won this trade?
As of now, this trade is looking pretty good for the Red Sox. However, if Kopech and Moncada can develop and turn into stars like expected, this trade will be a win-win for both sides.