On December 6th, 2016; the Boston Red Sox pulled off the blockbuster trade of the MLB off-season. They acquired All-Star left handed pitcher Chris Sale in exchange for Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Basabe and Victor Diaz. So far, it appears Chris Sale is exactly as advertised: one of the best left handed pitchers in the MLB boasting a 4-2 record and a 2.15 ERA. He also leads all MLB pitchers in strikeouts with 85, 15 more than second place holder Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals.
Sale is also leading the MLB in wins above replacement with 2.6 and is tied for first in innings pitched with Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros with 58.2 innings pitched. The best part about watching Sale pitch is his ability to pitch deep into games. Of his eight starts this season, he has pitched into the seventh inning seven times. The only downside to Chris Sale this season is that he has not thrown a complete game yet. Last year, he threw six complete games for the Chicago White Sox, while finishing with a 17-10 record.
The Red Sox would appear to be winning their side of the trade thus far, so let’s take a deeper look into the other side. The White Sox received Moncada, Kopech, Basabe, and Diaz from the trade. These players are still in the minor leagues and don’t look to be Major League ready for quite some time but that doesn’t mean they can’t produce in the future.
Playing for the White Sox Triple-A Affiliate, Moncada is having a good season so far with a 0.333 BA, 6 HR’s and 17 RBI’s in 33 games. The big hurdle for him is that the White Sox currently have Todd Frazier handling third base, so it could be a while before he gets consistent playing time in the majors.
Kopech is pitching for the Double-A affiliate of the White Sox, he is 2-2 this season with a 3.06 ERA and 51 K’s. Kopech is probably a year or two away from being ready to be a contributing pitcher to the White Sox rotation but the future is bright for this former Red Sox top prospect.
In the outfield for the Class-A+ affiliate of the White Sox, Basabe has a 0.232 BA, 1 HR, and 9 RBI’s in 30 games this season. There is room for improvement and he will most likely not make a significant impact in the MLB in the near future.
Diaz is also in Class-A ball at the moment but was placed on the 7-day disabled list on April 6th and nothing has been recorded since then.
Overall, the trade has worked out well for both sides thus far. The Red Sox got another All-Star pitcher in their rotation. While the White Sox got their youth to develop for the future. Things are looking very bright for both the Red Sox and the White Sox as each seemed to benefit in one way or another.