Tag: Social Reaction

Clay Buchholz to Phillies: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction

Pitcher Clay Buchholz is no longer a member of the only MLB team he has known, following a tumultuous 2016 campaign. 

The Philadelphia Phillies announced they acquired Buchholz and sent minor league second baseman Josh Tobias to the Red Sox on Tuesday. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman initially reported the deal.

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told reporters the Red Sox will listen to potential trade opportunities, but there is “no major drive” to add more players. Dombrowski said trading Buchholz gives the team flexibility during the offseason and puts Boston under the CBT (competitive-balance tax).  

The New York Post‘s Joel Sherman thought the move played into what the Phillies have done this offseason:

MLB.com’s Mike Petriello likes how Philadelphia has assembled its starting rotation:

This comes after Rob Bradford of WEEI.com noted earlier in December teams that talked to the Red Sox about available pitchers sensed Dombrowski was more interested in trading Buchholz over Drew Pomeranz.

Scott Miller of Bleacher Report listed the Miami Marlins as one of the clubs interested in Buchholz, although he reported the $13 million 2016 price tag was too expensive.

Boston acquired Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox this offseason and largely has its rotation set with Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright, Eduardo Rodriguez and Pomeranz all as candidates, which made Buchholz expendable.

Reports of a potential trade involving the right-hander appeared during the regular season, as Heyman tweeted Buchholz “came up in talks” before the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline. Buchholz is a former All-Star, but he was far from a shutdown pitcher in 2016, with a 4.78 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 93 strikeouts in 139.1 innings.

The Red Sox moved him to the bullpen after his struggles; home runs in particular were a problem for Buchholz. He allowed 21 long balls, which was still lower than the 25 he gave up in 2012.

He returned to the starting rotation late in the season and turned in a strong finish with a 3.14 ERA in five September appearances. The impressive finishing kick likely made him a more attractive trade target for the Phillies this offseason.

Despite the 2016 struggles, Buchholz was solid for the Red Sox in 2015 with a 3.26 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 107 strikeouts in 113.1 innings. It was a strong bounce-back effort after a lackluster 2014 campaign, when he finished with a 5.34 ERA.

Buchholz has been inconsistent for much of his career even though he made the All-Star Game in 2010 and in 2013:

The hope in Boston in 2016 was that he would look like the All-Star version of himself as the team chased the postseason. However, that was not the case for much of the year, and it reached the point where he said he felt “like something has [to] be going on” when discussing his limited usage in July, per Bradford.

His new team can at least take solace in the fact he has proved himself at the major league level. If he performs like he did in his All-Star campaigns and down the stretch in 2016, he will be an asset in 2017.

What’s more, he made playoff appearances for Boston in 2009, 2013 and 2016 and, theoretically, shouldn’t be intimidated by any important moments for his new squad. Philadelphia’s acquisition could be one of the better under-the-radar swaps of the offseason, especially if the 32-year-old can find consistency.

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Odubel Herrera, Phillies Agree to New Contract: Latest Details, Reaction

Any thoughts the Philadelphia Phillies had about trading Odubel Herrera have likely gone away after the All-Star center fielder signed a contract extension with the team.

The Phillies announced the five-year extension Thursday.

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported the contract will pay Herrera $30.5 million in guarantees and includes option years for 2022 and 2023.

There had been some speculation about the Phillies exploring trade options for Herrera this offseason. T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reported during the winter meetings the team “might be willing” to deal the 24-year-old. 

Herrera has been a pleasant surprise in two seasons with the Phillies. He was a Rule 5 draft pick in December 2014 after the Texas Rangers kept him off their 40-man roster because they didn’t have a spot available for him. 

With the Phillies embracing a full-scale rebuild, Herrera made the team’s Opening Day roster. He put together a solid debut season with a .297/.344/.418 slash line in 147 games. 

Herrera was even better in 2016, posting a .286/.361/.420 slash line with 15 home runs, 25 stolen bases and 4.2 wins above replacement, per Baseball-Reference.com. He was named to the National League All-Star team for his efforts. 

MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin noted Herrera’s eight wins above replacement in his first two seasons with the Phillies is the second-best mark in team history, trailing only Dick Allen’s 8.8 in 1964-65.

The Phillies’ commitment to Herrera is the latest sign this franchise is heading in the right direction. It’s going to take more time for the farm system, which MLB.com ranked seventh coming into 2016, to release all of its treasures like shortstop J.P. Crawford and outfielder Nick Williams. 

Herrera is a key piece of the foundation in Philadelphia and will be part of the next great wave of Phillies baseball after signing a long-term extension with the franchise.

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Koji Uehara to Cubs: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

After four years with the Boston Red Sox, veteran reliever Koji Uehara has found a new home with the Chicago Cubs

ESPN.com’s Jesse Rogers reported Wednesday that Uehara inked a one-year, $6 million deal with the defending World Series champs, and the Cubs later announced the news. 

Uehara is one of the most interesting relievers in Major League Baseball. He has performed at a high level for nearly a decade despite having a fastball that FanGraphs‘ stats show has never averaged more than 89.2 mph and dipped to a career-low 86.7 mph in 2016

The key to Uehara’s success is his split-finger fastball that drops off the table when he’s at his best, as Tim Britton of the Providence Journal wrote in 2014: “It was also the most effective his splitter has ever been, as opponents hit a beggarly .096 off the pitch in 2013. It induced a career-high whiff rate of 28 percent.”

Turning 41 last April, Uehara is starting to show signs he lacks the same type of dominance with that splitter. His 1.5 home runs allowed per nine innings tied the worst mark of his career (2011), per Baseball-Reference.com.

The veteran also posted his highest ERA since 2009 with a 3.45 mark last season, but he still baffled hitters overall with his seventh consecutive season posting a WHIP lower than 1.00 and more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings, so the sky is hardly falling for the right-hander. 

The concern for Uehara is there’s such a small margin for error with his declining fastball velocity that at some point hitters will be able to tee off on the pitch, negating the effectiveness of his splitter, as right-handed hitters gave him fits last season. 

Until that point comes, though, Uehara is still one of the most consistent relievers in baseball and a terrific value because his age didn’t force the Cubs to break the bank.

While Chicago was unable to keep closer Aroldis Chapman in free agency, it acquired Wade Davis via trade and now boasts a potentially dominant late-inning trio with Uehara joining both Davis and Hector Rondon.

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Danny Espinosa to Angels: Latest Trade Details, Comments, Reaction

The Washington Nationals continued their busy week Saturday, trading infielder Danny Espinosa to the Los Angeles Angels. 

Baseball America’s Josh Norris first reported the news, which Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports confirmed.

The Angels officially announced the deal, which will bring Espinosa to Los Angeles in exchange for right-handed pitchers Austin Adams and Kyle McGowin.

Espinosa has not kept his unhappiness with the Nationals a secret. The team acquired outfielder Adam Eaton from the Chicago White Sox in a trade Wednesday, which will likely push Trea Turner to Espinosa’s normal position at shortstop.

With Daniel Murphy coming off an MVP-caliber season at second base, Espinosa became the odd man out in Washington.

Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post reported Espinosa expressed his frustration over the move by skipping the team’s Winterfest event, which features fan and player interactions.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo left the door open for Espinosa’s return during the winter meetings, however.

“Well, it leaves us with a lot of options,” Rizzo said, per Castillo. “We have positional flexibility, or we continue to have positional flexibility and we will make those decisions down the road as we see fit.”

Andrelton Simmons, one of the best defensive players in Major League Baseball, already mans shortstop for the Angels.

Los Angeles is, however, desperate to find an option at second base. The Angels got a collective .235/.275/.345 slash line with 10 home runs from the position last season, per Baseball-Reference.com

Espinosa is an upgrade in the power department. He hit a career-high 24 home runs in 2016, though his .209 batting average marked the fourth time since 2011 that he’s failed to hit better than .240.

Despite those limitations, Espinosa addresses one of the biggest concerns for the Angels, and they didn’t have to give up anything of significant value to obtain him.

Adams is a 25-year-old who spent most of last season at Double-A, and he struck out 61 in 41.1 innings against younger competition. McGowin was rocked in Triple-A, posting a 6.11 ERA in 22 starts with 144 hits allowed and 46 walks in 116.1 innings.

Espinosa got what he wanted, for the most part, as the Angels will likely give him every opportunity to play each day. His ability to hit for power projects well in a lineup that features Mike Trout, Cameron Maybin, Kole Calhoun, C.J. Cron and Albert Pujols.

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Dexter Fowler to Cardinals: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Outfielder Dexter Fowler agreed to sign with the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, as first reported by USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale.

The deal is for five years and $82.5 million, including a full no-trade clause, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports on Friday. 

Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports in St. Louis reported a physical is scheduled for Friday.

Fowler, 30, was a crucial member of the Chicago Cubs as they won their first World Series title since 1908, hitting .276 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs and 13 stolen bases in 125 regular-season games. He was solid in the postseason as well, hitting .250 with three home runs, six RBI, 11 runs and a stolen base in 17 games.

But the Cubs are loaded in the outfield, with Kyle Schwarber, Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist and Albert Almora Jr. available. Heyward and Almora are capable of manning center field duties, so re-signing Fowler was never likely to be a priority for the reigning champions.


That allowed St. Louis to snag Fowler, who should not only improve the team’s defense but also provide consistent production toward the top of the lineup. Additionally, his postseason experience will be valued in the clubhouse.

Fowler was a key ingredient in the Cubs’ title-winning season. Now, the Cardinals will be hoping he’s the addition that puts them over the top as they seek another championship themselves.

One of the primary areas of need for the Cardinals was an upgrade in center field, so Fowler will check off that box. Fowler’s signing should also fan the flames of the team’s heated rivalry with the Cubs, and his addition makes the Cardinals a threat in the NL Central.

Fowler’s signing won’t be as flashy as some of the other names out there, but he was exactly what the Cardinals needed this offseason.

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Chris Heston to Mariners: Latest Trade Details, Comments, Reaction

The Seattle Mariners reportedly added some pitching depth Wednesday.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the San Francisco Giants traded right-handed pitcher Chris Heston to Seattle. Chris Cotillo of SB Nation confirmed the trade through a source but added the return package was unknown.

Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area noted the Giants were looking to clear space on their 40-man roster for recently signed closer Mark Melancon. Pavlovic added that “at least a couple of teams had reached out” to San Francisco to see if Heston was available, with the free-agency market lacking impact starters.

The future looked bright for the 28-year-old in 2015, when Heston made 31 starts for the Giants, posting a 3.95 ERA, a 1.31 WHIP and 141 strikeouts in 177.2 innings. He threw a no-hitter while striking out 11 batters against the eventual National League champion New York Mets on June 9 of that year, and it was easy to envision his becoming an anchor in San Francisco’s rotation.

However, the Giants added Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Matt Moore, and Heston started the 2016 campaign in the bullpen. He made four appearances in April, struggling with a 10.80 ERA and just three strikeouts in five innings before being sent to the minors.

According to Charlie Wilmoth of MLB Trade Rumors, Heston dealt with an oblique injury in the minors, which partially explained his 4.54 ERA in 81.1 innings.

The Giants rotation is largely set, with Madison Bumgarner, Cueto, Moore, Samardzija, Ty Blach and Matt Cain as potential options, so Heston will have a better opportunity in Seattle.

Although the Mariners finished an impressive ninth in the majors in starting pitcher ERA in 2016, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports suggested they needed to add another starter in the offseason. Bob Dutton of the News Tribune noted the decision to trade Taijuan Walker to the Arizona Diamondbacks in November created that need.

The Mariners were 86-76 but missed the playoffs in 2016. If Heston can return to the form he demonstrated in 2015 as a formidable piece behind Felix Hernandez, they can challenge the reigning American League West champion Texas Rangers on the back of their starting staff.

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Adam Eaton to Nationals in Trade Including Lucas Giolito: Details, Reaction

The Chicago White Sox weren’t done dealing when they announced they traded pitcher Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported Chicago sent outfielder Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals in exchange for pitchers Lucas Giolito, Dane Dunning and Reynaldo Lopez.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports confirmed the deal.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Chicago was looking at Giolito’s medical records before completing the trade because he underwent Tommy John surgery in the past.

Eaton is the trade’s headliner as the established major league contributor. He played for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2012 and 2013 before joining the White Sox for the last three seasons.

Eaton appeared in a career-high 157 games in 2016, slashing .284/.362/.428 with 14 home runs and 14 stolen bases in his third straight productive year for Chicago:

He also provided a stellar glove in right field, where he was responsible for 22 total defensive runs saved above average in 980.1 innings in 2016, per FanGraphs.

According to Sports IllustratedEaton’s 15.4 WAR over the last three seasons ranked behind only those of Mike Trout (27.8), Mookie Betts (17.6) and Kevin Kiermaier (16.4).

Sports Illustrated also noted he is under team control through 2021, and Steve Adams and Charlie Wilmoth of MLB Trade Rumors called his contract “wildly affordable” with two club options on top of three guaranteed years at just $19.9 million.

“This deal is built around asset allocation,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told reporters. “Adam Eaton is a heck of a player with long-term control and [a] favorable contract.”

Eaton can play center field for the Nationals in 2017 but may eventually move over to right if Jayson Werth leaves in free agency next offseason.

“We need guys that come to play every day,” Nationals manager Dusty baker told reporters regarding Eaton. “This guy’s not afraid to get dirty.”

Superstar Bryce Harper seemed initially shocked by the trade but then welcomed Eaton to the team:

Washington landed a talented outfielder, but Rosenthal illustrated it still needs more pieces:

“You’ve got to give to get,” Rizzo told reporters regarding the package the Nationals parted with. “And we certainly got what we wanted in Adam Eaton.”

Rizzo also said the Nationals were dealing from a “position of depth” in that the 2016 starting rotation remains in tact.

As for the White Sox, the rebuild is underway. They landed Yoan Moncada—whom MLB.com listed as the best prospect in baseball—Michael Kopech, Luis Basabe and Victor Diaz in the Sale swap.

“This is going to be an extended process,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told reporters. “This is going to take some time.”

Buster Olney of ESPN The Magazine noted a rival executive said “They’re kicking some butt,” when discussing Chicago. Bob Nightengale of USA Today even talked to “several scouts and executives” who said they thought the White Sox did better in the deal with the Nationals than Tuesday’s with the Red Sox.

“Our expectations were high in these moves,” Hahn told reporters. “We expected to get strong returns for Chris and Adam.”

Hahn also said there were “mixed emotions” in the deal but noted the club was “ecstatic” about the return.

MLB.com rated Giolito and Lopez as the third- and 38th-best prospects, respectively, in its 2016 rankings, noting that “Giolito has the highest ceiling among minor league pitchers, boasting an elite fastball that sits mid- to upper-90s and a 12-to-6 curveball that he throws with power and hard, downer action.”

He made six appearances and four starts at the major league level in 2016, posting a 6.75 ERA, a 1.78 WHIP and 11 strikeouts in 21.1 innings.

“The analytical side of it was very, very positive,” Rizzo told reporters regarding the decision to part with Giolito.

Following the trade, Giolito commented on the deal in a Twitter post:

Lopez pitched in 11 games for Washington in 2016, finishing with a 4.91 ERA, a 1.57 WHIP and 42 strikeouts in 44 innings. He started six games but is also capable of coming out of the bullpen.

Dunning was not as highly regarded as the other two, but MLB.com ranked the 2016 first-round draft pick as Washington’s sixth-best prospect in its farm system.

The White Sox went 78-84 in 2016 and could be in for a couple of rebuilding seasons after shipping out their ace and a productive right fielder, but the future looks bright after their headlining moves at the winter meetings.

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Wade Davis to Cubs: Twitter Reacts to Trade Involving Jorge Soler

The Chicago Cubs traded outfielder Jorge Soler to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for closer Wade Davis on Wednesday.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today and Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported the deal was done. 

The Cubs announced the deal on Twitter by showing their fans a GIF of what Davis’ fastball can do to opposing hitters:

Soler offered a farewell to the franchise that gave him his first opportunity to play Major League Baseball:

Joel Sherman of the New York Post pondered which team will look back on its deal with the Cubs for a closer more fondly:

The Cubs needed to do something to address the back of their bullpen with Aroldis Chapman entering free agency. Since it didn’t appear as if they were going to spend the money for one of the big closers (Chapman, Kenley Jansen), Davis became an excellent fallback plan for the Cubs. 

ESPN’s Jesse Rogers likes what the Cubs did with this deal:

This is likely a calculated move by the Royals, with Dave Cameron of FanGraphs writing there are causes for concern with Davis moving forward:

Those DL stints in July were scary, especially because flexor bundle strains often are followed in the not too distant future by the words Dr. James Andrews. Davis’ strikeout rate has gone from 39% to 31% to 27% the last three years, and his wOBA allowed is driven in large part by a complete lack of home runs; he’s only given up three in the last three years, thanks to the lowest HR/FB rate in baseball. Davis has dominated, but especially more recently, it’s been more (Mark) Melancon’s kind of domination than Chapman’s or Jansen’s.

MLB Stat of the Day did counteract some of that skepticism with this nugget about Davis’ performance over the previous three seasons:

Soler, 24, hit .238 with 12 home runs and 31 RBI across 86 games this past season. He was sidelined for much of the summer, however, with a hamstring issue.

Even though Soler’s tenure with the Cubs didn’t go the way anyone hoped it would after he signed with the team out of Cuba in 2012, Christopher Kamka of Comcast SportsNet Chicago did note he bookended things nicely:

The Cubs, even after trading Soler and possibly losing Dexter Fowler in free agency, still have too many outfielders for three spots.

Ben Zobrist and Kris Bryant can play left field, but the team also has to get Kyle Schwarber back out there. Albert Almora and Jon Jay could be penciled in for center field, while Jason Heyward is capable of moving over there with Bryant in right, if that’s what manager Joe Maddon wants to do. 

Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star did note the Royals are now in a similar predicament in terms of having too many outfielders:

MLB.com’s Jane Lee reported the Oakland Athletics have had talks with the Royals about Jarrod Dyson, which would take care of Kansas City’s issue. The Royals could also use Soler at DH if they wanted to after Kendrys Morales signed with the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this offseason.

Soler never lived up to the hype in his three seasons with the Cubs. While he’s still young and has a high ceiling, he didn’t flash superstar potential in Chicago. He was excellent in the 2015 postseason, however, hitting .474 with three home runs and five RBI in seven games, so Soler could yet become an MLB star.

The Royals will hope the opportunity to provide him more playing time and at-bats will spark that ascension to stardom, especially since they are facing an uncertain future after 2017 with Eric Hosmer and Lorenzo Cain due to become free agents. 

Soler gives the Royals some versatility as an outfielder or DH, as well as a tremendously high ceiling for a player who is still young and under team control through 2020. He knows there will be ample playing time for him now to just focus on becoming the hitter he was expected to be in Chicago.

The Cubs did what they could to turn Soler into a star, but they were also in a situation the past two years in which they were winning and needed to put their best team on the field. 

Davis gives the Cubs exactly what they need for 2017, and the front office wasn’t forced to overspend on a free-agent closer. It’s a rare trade that looks smart and necessary from both sides. 


You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.

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Chris Sale to Red Sox: Twitter Reacts to Blockbuster Deal Involving Yoan Moncada

The Boston Red Sox reportedly completed a blockbuster trade Tuesday, acquiring Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale in exchange for a package headlined by prized infield prospect Yoan Moncada.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports first reported the deal, and Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports confirmed the agreement was in place.

Joon Lee of The Ringer summed up the general reaction around the baseball universe:

DJ Bean of WEEI joked about the other, far less significant, potential moves:

WEEI’s Rob Bradford passed along some reaction from an AL rival:

Michael Hurley of CBS Boston found the perfect time for the iconic Vince McMahon strut:

MLB Memes provided a humorous take on the deal:

Baseball Is Fun spotlighted the Red Sox’s tendency to move prospects for proven talent:

Boston Strong also discussed president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski’s wheeling and dealing:

Sportsnet’s Tim and Sid noted the disappointment north of the border:

It’s a stark contrast from Only In Boston’s take on the Red Sox’s bolstered rotation:

Michael Schlact went with the Moneyball reference:

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell is a little worried about Sale’s potential reaction to Boston’s uniform choices following his jersey incident in Chicago last season:

The impact of the trade is wide-ranging, as left-handed-hitting Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis illustrated:

His teammate, Jose Ramirez, was amused by early declarations that the Red Sox are the clear favorites in the American League:

Even if the reigning AL champion Indians aren’t ready to hand over their crown yet, the Red Sox walk away from the deal with an outstanding rotation. Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez and either Clay Buchholz or Drew Pomeranz is tough to beat.

While Boston had to give up an impressive group of young talent, Sale is just 27 and should continue to contend for the Cy Young Award annually with the run support he’ll receive with the Red Sox. Now, the question is how their biggest rivals will try to answer during the rest of the offseason.

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Chris Sale to Red Sox: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction

The Chicago White Sox have taken the bold step of building for their future by trading ace starting pitcher Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.

The White Sox announced they have acquired Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Alexander Basabe and Victor Diaz in exchange for Sale.

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal initially reported the deal.

Bruce Levine of 670TheScore.com also reported the Red Sox will pay the $31.2 million remaining on Moncada’s $63 million deal. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the Red Sox refused to include Jackie Bradley Jr. in any trade talk.

Boston beat out the Washington Nationals, who tried “hard” to land the ace by offering top prospects, per Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball. Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post reported the Nationals weren’t willing to give up Trea Turner and that the Red Sox’s willingness to part with Moncada led to the swap.

Buster Olney of ESPN reported that a “popular theory in the industry” is that the White Sox pushed the Nationals to the brink of a deal to use as leverage to get the package they did from the Red Sox.

Ian Browne of RedSox.com and Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe provided comments from Sale on Wednesday:

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski spoke with reporters on Tuesday, saying talks between the sides “accelerated” on Friday.

“Sale gives us a chance to win now…At this point, this gave us a really significant chance to win,” Dombrowski said.

The White Sox seemed to be moving toward dealing Sale or Jose Quintana shortly before the trade deadline this past summer.

Heyman reported on July 22 Chicago began taking calls on the pair, though he added the White Sox hadn’t “decided how seriously to shop their stars, and there’s no certainty that either will be traded, as they love both pitchers.”

Like most trade negotiations, the White Sox were waiting to get the best deal. It’s not an unreasonable position for them to take, even as they appear headed for their fifth straight losing season, because Sale’s contract is so team-friendly.

Recently retired Red Sox star David Ortiz is a fan of the move:

Sale, who is 27 years old, has one more guaranteed year on his deal at $12 million, with club options for 2018 and 2019 that total $26 million, per Baseball-Reference.com. His contract looks even better considering 43-year-old Bartolo Colon was among the top names of the available free-agent starters.

The White Sox have taken a short-term approach to fixing their roster, signing players such as Melky Cabrera and Jose Abreu and trading for Todd Frazier, yet it hasn’t worked out. It’s time for the franchise to start acquiring as many young, cost-controlled assets as possible to avoid a total collapse.

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told reporters he thinks Moncada can play second or third base, “but at this point we’ll have him playing second base” in the minors. Hahn added that the two sides had talked about Sale for over a year.

“If a team is interested in talented, controllable starting pitchers, we do have others,” Hahn told reporters.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox get the top-of-the-rotation starter they needed. Dombrowski has not been shy about making deals to improve the team since taking over late in the 2015 season, acquiring Craig Kimbrel in a trade with the San Diego Padres and signing David Price last offseason.

Yet things did not work out for Boston’s rotation in 2016, aside from Rick Porcello’s breakout campaign. The Red Sox finished eighth in the majors with a 4.22 ERA from the starting rotation, though, so there was upside even before acquiring Sale.

It also helps that their offense led the league in most major offensive categories last season, including runs scored, doubles, total bases, average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

Sale is the horse Boston needs to get over the hump in October after a quick playoff exit last season.

Dombrowski has been making a lot of moves involving Boston’s prospects, but it’s such a rich farm system that he can get away with it and not leave the cupboard bare.

The White Sox could afford to move Sale because they still have Quintana to build a rotation around. This move will help them secure their future and start competing for a playoff spot for the first time since 2008.

Sale did everything in his power to make the White Sox a contender, finishing in the top six of AL Cy Young Award voting in each of the last five seasons. He’s never had a chance to show off his stuff in October, but he will have an opportunity to change that with his new club.

It’s never easy to give up multiple top-level prospects, but it’s also rare when a true No. 1 starter who is under team control for more than two months becomes available. That made it easy for the Red Sox to make the call.

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