Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Hot Stove Update: Red and White Sox Pull Off Blockbuster

With Winter Meetings talking heads breathlessly reporting that Chris Sale was all but a National, the Red Sox swooped in and made an offer the Nationals could not top and the White Sox could not refuse.  I mean, once Yoan Moncada was in on the deal, the Nats would have had to add Trea Turner, which they were not going to do.   So it was the Bosox dealing from an almost obscene surplus of prospect talent that got this deal done.

We all know what Chris Sale is.  He's one of the true aces on MLB.   He'll combine with David Price to form a lefty 1-2 punch in the 'Sox rotation.  It's a power move by Dave Dombrowski who is well known for using his farm system to trade for star veterans and Sale is about as elite a talent as you can get.  Still, every deal has its risks.  Sale was not lights out all season last year and had 2 months where is ERA was well north of 4.  His unconventional delivery makes my elbow hurt just to watch it and he's been long rumored to have intermittent twinges in it.  Then there is the personality, which come to think of it, should fit right into the Red Sox clubhouse!

In landing Sale, Dombrowski pulled the trigger by including one of the most highly touted and hyped prospects I can remember, Yoan Moncada.  Moncada is a true 5-tool athlete who seems to be able to actually play.  He has shown modest power, but has stolen 95 bases in 193 minor league games.  While he has shined on the field, he has already developed a bit of a reputation for being injury prone, which may have been part of the reason Dombrowski was willing to let him go.  On the other hand, Dombrowski has never let a prospect's reputation stand in the way of a trade for a veteran star.

I absolutely loved Michael Kopech before the 2014 draft.  I thought he had tremendous present physicality and velocity with the most room to fill out of any HS pitcher in that draft.  He has gained a reputation for velocity in the minors, routinely hitting triple digits on radar guns including one pitch reported to be 105 MPH, although that particular pitch is in dispute.  He's had a couple of off-field hiccups with a banned substance bust and a clubhouse fight with a teammate.  Some risk here, but the ceiling is very high.

Luis Alexander Basabe, twin brother of Luis Alejandro Basabe, is a promising OF from low A Ball last year and Victor Diaz is a somewhat promising pitcher from the lower minors.

So, that is the haul the ChiSox got for Chris Sale.  Can't do much better than that, although there are never guarantees that any prospect is going to make it in the majors and the bust rate on multiple prospect trades is very high.

Dombrowski got the guy he wanted dealing from a position of overwhelming surplus talent, which you really can't fault him for.


Earlier in the day, Dombrowski helped out the BrewCrew's rebuild by sending 3 pretty good prospect out for underrated RHP reliever Tyler Thornburg.


  1. Ah, I see what you're saying about his delivery. He's got the inverted W that screams 'future Tommy John.'

  2. It makes you wonder which direction the Nats will be going for another starter. If they didn't offer up enough for Sale, they certainly won't for Archer. I think the Nats really needed another top tier starter. Strasburg is always hurt and Gonzalez is erratic. Nice haul for the ChiSox. Is Todd Frazier next? Brewers are stocking up the farm system with some really good prospects. This whole trading quality bullpen arms for prospects has really worked out so far for the Yankees and Brewers. Who would have ever thought this at the beginning of the decade before the Giants showed how valuable a stocked bullpen was.

  3. Do the White Sox have an outfielder for sale -- other than Melky?

  4. Solid move by both teams. Red Sox window has just opened and they needed frontline pitching to complement that young, high powered offense. The White Sox got a great haul for a guy that just wasn't in the cards for them since they are in rebuild mode and he's getting on in years. Should be interesting to see how this trade plays out after a couple years.