Chris Sale and Yoan Moncada swapping teams is the big headline right now. However, the benefits of this trade will be seen from the Red Sox point of view deep into 17’, and in the next couple days from the White Sox point of view. What is clear (or blurry) is what the message says for both sides.
David Price may be the Sox ace, and Rick Porcello may be the reigning AL Cy Young winner, but many still think Boston needs help in the rotation. So, the big question is whether or not Chris Sale is worth giving up baseball’s #1 prospect. Sale gives the Red Sox arguably the best AL rotation, and separates Boston from the rest of the AL East. So, after losing to the best AL pitching squad in the 2016 ALDS, the Sox were probably are very motivated to upgrade their pitching squad. However, the Indians went as far as they did due to their bullpen.
The last few years has proven bullpen talent trumps rotation talent. Although the Sox had one of the best bullpens according to the statistics, the focus needs to be there rather than the already deep rotation. Yes, Sale brings a 4.0+ WAR into Boston, but how much more of a difference can he make for an already 93-win team? Unlike the White Sox, this trade won’t be decided as a win or bust until deep into the 2017 season.
Doing away with their best player obviously points towards rebuild for the north side of Chicago. Just hours after dealing away Chris Sale, the White Sox have started up rumors of the eligibility of Jose Quintana and Todd Frazier. The remainder of the Winter Meetings and offseason will be key to the success of this trade. Adding Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech puts them 1 and 2 in the White Sox system. Now with those kids leading the charge in the Sox farm system, the front office needs to keep stocking it.
Chicago may be the big winner in this trade right now, but like Boston, it is contingent. The White Sox need to make some moves fast that support and indicate a rebuild. Selling now is important. The Reds, for example, sold too late and are still holding onto a few of their stars. Cincy now has anything, but a plentiful farm system. And their major league squad is a losing one with big stars wasting away.
First impression says this is a win-win for both sides. Boston has arguably the best trio atop their rotation and still one of the top farm systems. The White Sox, many believe, now have the next Robinson Cano and Justin Verlander. Overall though, for both sides, this blockbuster transaction has big risk and reward.