Reports from around baseball and first from FOX’s Ken Rosenthal say White Sox ace Chris Sale will be part of the 2017 Red Sox. Sox Baseball President Dave Dombrowski made the blockbuster deal in return for the promising Yoan Moncada, pitcher Michael Kopech, and two other prospects. Until today, the Nationals had been said to be the team leading to acquire Sale.
Sale, who is just 27 and a five-time consecutive season All-Star, has spent his entire major league career with the White Sox, developing a 74-50 record with a 3.00 ERA in 228 games over seven seasons.
He also, last season, developed a reputation as a hot head (and earned a five-game suspension) following a bizarre Shredding Incident.
On the field in 2016 Sale was 17-10 with a 3.34 ERA in 32 starts over 226.2 IP, both career highs. Last season, Sale led all of baseball with six complete games and trailed only Rick Porcello and the Indians Josh Tomlin in MLB with a 5.178 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Among American League hurlers, only the Tigers’ Justin Verlander (254) had more strikeouts than Sale, who was tied with the Rays Chris Archer for second place (233).
From 2012-16 Sale is the American League leader for ERA (3.04), strikeouts (1,133), WHIP (1.06), opponent OBP (.280), strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.08), and opponent OPS (.635). Also during that stretch, Sale is second in the league for opponent AVG (.227), quality starts (109), and wins (70).
Sales contract puts him under Red Sox control through the 2019 season at a salary of $12M, $12.5M, and $13.M, respectively for the next three seasons.
Sale grew up in Lakeland, Florida, attending Lakeland Senior High School and Florida Gulf Coast University. In 2009 Sale was Baseball America‘s #1 Prospect in the Cape Cod League after going 4-2 with a 1.47 ERA and 57 strikeouts for Yarmouth-Dennis. Sale was a first-round draft pick by the White Sox in the 2010 amateur draft and made his MLB debut that same year, one of five players in baseball history to do so.
News of Sale overshadows another Dombrowski deal made earlier in the day to acquire reliever Tyler Thornberg from the Brewers in return for Travis Shaw and two prospects, infielder Mauricio Dubon and pitcher Josh Pennington.