News has broken that Sale will be traded, but he'll only be changing the color of his socks... er, Sox. The Red Sox have landed the dynamic Sale in exchange for a number of top prospects. While the price was steep -- Yoan Moncada is a highly-touted Cuban import and Michael Kopech blew hitters away in A-ball -- Sale is one of the top pitchers in all of baseball. He now joins what could be one of the best, if not the best, rotations in the major leagues.
Let's assume that Sale becomes the ace of the staff. That would leave the AL's reigning Cy Young award winner as the Sox #2 starter. Yep, Rick Porcello -- 22-4, 3.15 ERA, 1.01 WHIP -- might not be the best pitcher on the Red Sox. And let's not forget about David Price, who signed with the Sox last season to be their ace. Though Price had a "down" year -- going 17-9 with a near-career high ERA of 3.99 -- he still managed to strike out more batters than innings pitched.
While that top three would rival just about any organization's, the Sox aren't finished. Their potential 4th starter, Drew Pomeranz, put up these numbers in 2016: 3.32 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 186 K's in 171 innings. His record of 11-12 was certainly not indicative of his performance. And certainly not the kind of numbers for a typical 4th starter. The Sox still have promising lefty Eduardo Rodriguez and veteran Clay Buchholz to battle it out for the 5th spot.
The trade for Sale comes at a great time for the Red Sox. All-Star and icon David Ortiz retired after another spectacular season, leaving a big hole in the middle of the lineup. Though the Sox made the playoffs in 2016, their stay was brief. Adding a pitcher of Sale's caliber puts an already solid rotation over the top, somewhat off-setting the loss of Ortiz to the offense.
The off-season is still young and there are still plenty of free agents to sign and players to trade. However, it will be tough to beat the splash Boston made today.