NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Dave Dombrowski has struck again. The Red Sox have agreed to a deal to acquire left-hander Chris Sale from the White Sox for prospects Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Alexander Basabe and Victor Diaz, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
Sale was undoubtedly the top player available to clubs this winter, and drew strong interest from the Nationals and Braves before being dealt to Boston. He will become the ace of a staff that includes Cy Young winners Rick Porcello and David Price, propelling the Red Sox into strong contention as the favorite in the American League.
Sale, like Porcello, is controlled through the 2019 season for the low cost of $39 million. The 27-year old has spent his entire career with the White Sox, posting a career 74-50 record and 3.00 ERA in 228 appearances (148 starts).
Chicago was known to be asking a lot in talks for Sale, and chose the Red Sox’ package over a Nationals’ offer that was headlined by Lucas Giolito and Victor Robles. While Moncada is obviously the prize of the group, Kopech is seen as an extreme high-upside talent and both Basabe and Diaz ranked within Boston’s top 30 prospects as well.
Moncada, 21, is ranked by MLB.com as the top prospect in baseball and is one of the highest-profile prospects to ever be included in a blockbuster deal. The infielder struggled in eight major-league games after a late-season call-up, but is seen as a tremendous talent who possesses all five tools. Moncada was signed to a $31.5 signing bonus in March 2015, and is heralded as a surefire major-league star.
Kopech, 20, was ranked as Boston’s 5th-best prospect and came in at 67th on MLB.com’s overall list. Despite being held back by off-the-field issues throughout his short pro career, the former first-rounder has reached 105 mph with his fastball, which is considered one of the best in the minor-leagues. Kopech is raw, but projects as a front-line major-league starter and could reach the majors as soon as 2018.
Basabe, 20, is a 6-foot, 160 lb. outfielder who ranks as Boston’s 8th-best prospect. Born in Venezuela, Basabe is regarded as having the potential to play center field in the majors as a switch-hitter.
Diaz, 22, is a right-hander who posted a 3.88 ERA in 37 relief appearances with Class-A Greenville and ranks as the Red Sox’ No. 28 prospect. He was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2014.