On Monday, there were reports that Chris Sale would be traded to the Washington Nationals.
Those reports were false.
On Tuesday, Sale was traded to the Boston Red Sox for four prospects, including infielder Yoan Moncada, who is the top prospect in baseball.
Scott Ferrall never believed the Sale-to-the-Nationals reports. In fact, he doesn’t believe any report until a deal is official.
Bleacher Report MLB senior writer Scott Miller certainly understands why.
“There was a lot of talk about the Nationals (Monday night), but rumors get out there,” Miller said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “It’s like misdirection play. Some people leak some things almost to throw a bunch of the media off of the scent, and then while everybody’s looking to the left, something happens over here to the right.”
Either way, Sale, 27, is one of the best pitchers in baseball. He is a five-time All-Star and last year went 17-10 with a 3.34 ERA and 233 strikeouts.
“Chris Sale is, comparatively speaking to guys like Clayton Kershaw and David Price, very affordable,” Miller said. “He’s only making about $12 million this year and there are two club options. So the Red Sox getting him for like $39 million over the next three years (is a steal).”
In addition to Moncada, Boston also gave up highly touted pitching prospect Michael Kopech, outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe and right-hander Victor Diaz. That’s a much more Chicago-friendly package than what the Nationals were reportedly offering: outfielder Victor Robles and pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez.
“That rumor (from Monday), Washington had to have been giving up way more than that,” Miller said. “There’s no way you’re going to get a pitcher of Sale’s caliber that talented for a relatively cheap price for those few prospects. It was ludicrous. And we found out (Tuesday) sure enough the Red Sox (got Sale).”
That was no accident, either, as Boston and Chicago had been in communication about Sale since 2015.
“The White Sox and Red Sox, they first started talking about a year ago,” Miller said. “The White Sox didn’t want to move Sale then, but Dave Dombrokwski saw Sale pitch many times against his Tigers. Dombrowski checked in with the White Sox a year ago and they talked a little bit. Then they talked again at the trade deadline, and then they resumed it at the general manager meetings last month in Arizona, and then this time around they started talking Friday night. (They) pulled the trigger (Tuesday).”
Sale will join David Price and Rick Porcello in a stacked Red Sox rotation. Boston went 93-69 and won the AL East this past season.
“Talk about the rich getting richer,” Miller said. “The Red Sox have a phenomenal rotation now and will enter next season as contenders for a World Series.”