Chris Sale Trade to Red Sox


Chris Sale Trade to Red Sox

Chris Sale Set to Join Braves in Trade with Red Sox

Braves and Red Sox Execute Pre-New Year's Day Blockbuster Trade

In a significant move before New Year's Day, the Braves and Red Sox have engaged in a blockbuster trade. The Braves have acquired seven-time All-Star pitcher Chris Sale in exchange for infield prospect Vaughn Grissom, who is set to join Boston. As part of the deal, the Red Sox will also be sending cash along with Sale to the Braves. Sale is slated to receive $27.5 million in 2024 and holds a $20 million club option for 2025. A source revealed to's Mark Feinsand that Boston will send $17 million to Atlanta in conjunction with the trade.

At the age of 34, Sale boasts an impressive Major League career spanning 13 seasons with the White Sox and Red Sox, amassing 343 appearances and a notable record of 120-80 with a 3.10 ERA. As a crucial part of the 2018 World Series-winning Boston team, Sale consistently ranked among the top six in American League Cy Young Award voting each season from 2012 to 2018.

During his six-year tenure with the Red Sox, the left-handed pitcher compiled a record of 46-30 with a 3.27 ERA. In the previous season, Sale made 20 starts, posting a 6-5 record with a 4.30 ERA, despite facing a two-month absence due to left shoulder inflammation.

Grissom, aged 22, held the position of the Braves' No. 7 prospect according to MLB Pipeline rankings in 2022. His contributions were evident in the 64 games he played with Atlanta, boasting a .287 batting average, five home runs, and a .746 OPS. Grissom showcased his versatility by making 41 starts at second base and 19 at shortstop.

During the 2023 season with Triple-A Gwinnett, Grissom delivered an impressive performance in 102 games. He recorded a .330 batting average along with a .419 on-base percentage and a .501 slugging percentage. Additionally, he demonstrated his well-rounded skills with eight home runs and 13 stolen bases in 15 attempts. Notably, Grissom exhibited exceptional plate discipline, striking out only 66 times while drawing 56 walks.

The acquisition of Sale signals the initiation of efforts to fortify the Major League rotation, addressing challenges faced by the Braves during the demanding 2023 season and their brief postseason run.

While Max Fried showcased brilliance on the mound, his season was marred by three stints on the injured list, attributed to a left hamstring strain, left forearm strain, and issues with a blister on his left index finger. Spencer Strider, coming off a remarkable rookie campaign, achieved an impressive record of 20-5 and led the Majors with 281 strikeouts (13.5 K/9) but grappled with consistency. Bryce Elder, who earned his first career All-Star Game appearance with a 2.97 first-half ERA, seemed to face challenges in the latter part of the season, posting a 5.11 ERA after the break. Despite the initial promise of a formidable 2023 rotation, only Strider, Elder, and Charlie Morton managed to make at least 30 starts.

Atlanta's rotational depth had so far only been further stripped this offseason, as the club traded both Jared Shuster and Michael Soroka to the White Sox as part of the Aaron Bummer deal, the Braves also sent Kyle Wright to the Royals in exchange for Jackson Kowar, who was himself later traded to the Mariners in a deal that netted the Braves outfielder Jarred Kelenic, left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzalez, first baseman Evan White and cash considerations.

On the other side of the exchange, Grissom would meet a serious need for the Red Sox, who, with the departure of shortstop Xander Bogaerts in free agency and another difficult injury-plagued campaign from Trevor Story, struggled to get much production out of their middle infielders this past season. Red Sox second basemen and shortstops finished 25th and 29th, respectively, in terms of combined fWAR, and the club also had the worst infield configuration by Outs Above Average in 2023, finishing with -39 OAA (the Angels and Reds, tied for 28th, each had infields worth -25 OAA).

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