The Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox made the blockbuster trade of the offseason as the White Sox trade star pitcher Chris Sale to Boston in exchange for infielder Yoan Moncada, right-handed pitcher Michael Kopech, outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe, and right-handed pitcher Victor Diaz.
White Sox evaluation:
It’s never easy to trade a star pitcher like Chris Sale who is one of the top players in all of the MLB, but in this case it was the right move for the White Sox. Sale clearly wasn’t happy with the team’s front office and the White Sox are probably going to start a major rebuilding process after several disappointing seasons. The White Sox will obviously be a terrible team without Sale, but this trade makes Chicago set up with talent long-term. The best player that the White Sox are receiving in this deal is Yoan Moncada. He is considered by many to be the prospect in the entire MLB. Moncada has outstanding speed as he has 94 stolen bases in just 2 seasons in the minor leagues. However, he also brings some decent power as he hit 15 home runs last season. Moncada is a .287 career minor league hitter, so he obviously can provide some consistent offensive production. He only hit .211 in 8 games for the Red Sox last season, but they shouldn’t have even brought him up to the MLB level since he only had limited experience in Double-A. Moncada is probably a long-term option at 2nd base for the White Sox, but he could also play 3rd base or center field. He isn’t MLB-ready quite yet, but if he performs well in Triple-A next season then he could be up to the White Sox probably by 2018. Meanwhile, the White Sox got another elite prospect in this trade by acquiring right-handed starting pitcher Michael Kopech. He is a really hard-thrower as he can throw 100 MPH with his outstanding fastball. Kopech will probably start next season in Double-A for the White Sox, so he is still a few years away from the MLB. Kopech has a career 2.60 ERA and he could definitely be an ace for the White Sox for many years. Meanwhile, outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe is another prospect that has some potential. Basabe is only 20 years old, but he probably will only start in Double-A and he is still several years away. He has good defensive skills and he has a tremendous ability to steal bases as he had 25 stolen bases last year. Basabe probably needs to develop his power more to become a better offensive player, but he can at least provide some depth in the White Sox outfield when he reaches the MLB. Finally, the White Sox also received right-handed pitcher Victor Diaz who figures more as a developmental prospect. Diaz throws really hard with a 96-98 MPH fastball, but he struggles with his control. Diaz had a rough year in Single-A as he had a 2-5 record with a 3.88 ERA. However, he just has to develop some more pitches besides his fastball in order to develop correctly. Diaz projects more as a late-inning reliever, yet he has a long way to go before he is an MLB player. Overall, the White Sox received two really elite prospects in this trade with Moncada and Kopech. Also, Basabe and Diaz are talented prospects that just have some development to do. Either Way, it was difficult for Chicago to trade away Sale, but it was the right move for the prospects that they received.
Red Sox evaluation:
The Red Sox are clearly trying to win a world series immediately by trading for elite starting pitcher Chris Sale. Boston traded away at least two really good prospects that probably would have been great players for many years for the team. However, this is still a good trade for Boston since it makes their rotation one of the best in the MLB. Sale went 17-10 with a 3.34 ERA last season for the White Sox and he’s one of the most consistent pitchers in the MLB. Sale doesn’t throw extremely hard, but he does have a solid fastball which he throws the most. Also, he has a tremendous slider and a really good changeup which is what makes him such such a complete pitcher. The Red Sox already have a tremendous lineup, but now they are becoming a complete team with 3 star pitchers and a good bullpen as well. Sale has a career 3.00 ERA and he is consistently in consideration for the Cy Young Award, so the Red Sox know that they will be getting a quality pitcher. Boston now has David Price, Rick Porcello, and Chris Sale as their top 3 pitchers in their rotation which is probably the best trio of starting pitchers for any team in the MLB. It was tough to trade away Moncada and Kopech who are two of the best prospects in the MLB. However, Boston is making a commitment to win immediately and getting Chris Sale could be the piece that makes this team a world series champion in 2017.