Sale traded to the Red Sox; O's woes versus LHPs just increased - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly

Sale traded to the Red Sox; O’s woes versus LHPs just increased

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Well, the American League East just got that much harder.

According to multiple reports, including one from Fox Sports, the division champion Boston Red Sox have acquired 27-year-old lefty Chris Sale for four prospects, including highly regarded Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada.

Sale, who has finished in the Top 6 in Cy Young voting each of the past five seasons, is one of baseball’s most dominant pitchers. He struck out 233 batters while walking just 45 in 226 2/3 innings last year for the Chicago White Sox.

He’ll be joining a Red Sox rotation that already includes 2016 Cy Young winner Rick Porcello, 2012 Cy Young winner David Price and knuckleballer Steven Wright.

It’s not good news for the Orioles, who hit .234 with a .301 on-base percentage against left-handers last year. The Red Sox won 11 of 19 against the Orioles in 2016 – and captured the division crown by four games.

The Orioles have had a modicum of success against Sale in limited action while he was in Chicago. He is 2-2 with a 3.41 ERA in 11 games (five starts) versus the Orioles.

They’ll get to see him a whole lot more in the near future. He is under contract through 2017 and the Red Sox now hold his team options for 2018 ($12.5 million, with a $1 million buyout) and 2019 ($13.5 million with a $1 million buyout).

Before Orioles’ fans complain about why their team didn’t attempt to get Sale, it must be pointed out that they didn’t have near enough in their system to match Boston. Not even close.

Moncada, 21, is widely considered one of the best prospects in all of baseball. Right-hander Michael Kopech, a first-round pick in 2014, is just 20 and throws 100 mph. And the Red Sox sent two more prospects to Chicago for Sale. That’s a 4-for-1 deal including two high-end prospects.

It’s a huge price to pay – and something the Orioles couldn’t have done – but a tremendous pickup for the Red Sox, who also added reliever Tyler Thornburg earlier Tuesday in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Bancells Moustache

    December 6, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Well, um… the O’s could still, uh… um…damn. That’s not good.

    • Bancells Moustache

      December 6, 2016 at 2:56 pm

      Can one of you stat guys pull some weird acronym out of your laptop and tell me the Red Sox screwed up here? Because, for all intents and purposes, this really appears to suck.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 6, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      The only thing is moncada appears to be the real deal.

  2. Stevej

    December 6, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Well, doesn’t this make the signing of Mark Trumbo a little more important?

    • Dan Connolly

      December 6, 2016 at 5:24 pm

      Theoretically. Though he wasn’t good against lefties last year

      • John in Cincy

        December 7, 2016 at 1:06 am

        The Orioles really need to forget the plan going into the postseason and pony up. If they were willing to spend on Trumbo, take the money and spend it on someone like Fowler. Anything but roll over like a whipped dog. #OperationBreaktheBank

        Oh, that and they can hope that Chris Sale will be for the Red Sox what Erik Bedard was to the Mariniers.

  3. Eldersburg Enigma

    December 6, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Don’t forget All Star Drew Pomeranz as the Sox #4 starter. And I still can’t understand why people cannot see past the home runs with Trumbo. He’s an average-to-below average hitter.

  4. marcshank

    December 8, 2016 at 12:04 am

    I’m sorry, I know this goes on every year with Angelos, but it’s difficult for me to understand how they could have possibly let Sale go to Boston with the staff already the best and getting a lefty to boot. Doesn’t Angelos want to win a Series before he dies? Doesn’t he have the money? Do I know what I’m even talking about? This might be the killer that keeps us going for yet another wild card because they’ve already lost the division. What do you think, Dan?

    • Bancells Moustache

      December 8, 2016 at 5:16 pm

      I take solace in the recent phenomena with Boston; they’ve almost been the Anti-Orioles of late in that, whenever they are touted as this unstoppable force, and they most certainly will be referred to as such come spring, they tend to fall on their faces. Remember the “Best Team Ever?” headline in 2011 and they promptly took a beer and fried chicken infused dump? Let us be hopeful…

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