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Danny Picard: Chris Sale trade an absolute steal for Red Sox

Chris Sale went 17-10 with a 3.34 ERA this past season in Chicago.

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The Chris Sale trade wasn’t just a great one for the Boston Red Sox. It was an absolute steal.

Boston acquired the 27-year-old ace in a trade on Tuesday that sent four prospects to the Chicago White Sox. Those prospects included 21-year-old infielder Yoan Moncada and 20-year-old pitcher Michael Kopech. Moncada was the Red Sox’ No. 1 prospect and arguably the top prospect in all of baseball. Kopech was the Red Sox’ No. 5 prospect.

Those two names alone have the prospect junkies — as I like to call them — up in arms. They believe the Red Sox “gave up on the future.”

I’m here to tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth. The future is still here. It’s in the form of 22-year-old Andrew Benintendi, 23-year-old Eduardo Rodriguez, 24-year-old Mookie Betts, 24-year-old Xander Bogaerts, 26-year-old Jackie Bradley Jr., and 26-year-old Christian Vazquez, just to name a few. That doesn’t even include last year’s first-round pick, lefty pitcher Jason Groome, who’s only 18-years-old, and will probably end up being listed as the organization’s No. 1 prospect at some point in 2017.

The mere fact that president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski didn’t have to give up any of those players — along with Moncada and Kopech — in a trade for Sale is amazing. If you had asked me last week what it would take to get the White Sox to pull the trigger on a trade that included Sale, I would have told you, "Moncada, another top-five prospect, two other prospects, and someone from Boston’s MLB roster." I would've been confident in telling you that Bradley Jr. had to be involved. And even at that point, I wouldn’t have been convinced that’d be enough to get a deal done.

Yet, here we are. Sale is now the Red Sox’ new ace. And nobody from next year’s starting lineup had to get shipped out of town for it to happen.

It wasn’t just the prospect junkies who were panicking when this trade went down, though. Every headline you read on Tuesday had some form of it. Another clever twist was, “Boston goes all-in on 2017.”

That withholds the fact that Sale is only 27, and is under contract for the next three seasons. And I just pointed out to you that the “future” is still here. It just sees the addition of a star pitcher in his prime.

Sale turns 28 in March. The lanky lefty is a five-time All-Star and a strikeout machine. At 6-foot-6, 180 pounds, Sale’s slider — as a power pitcher — is arguably the filthiest pitch in baseball.

He enters the Red Sox organization and immediately becomes the ace. I don’t care that Rick Porcello just won the American League Cy Young award. I don’t care that David Price is making $30 million a season. Sale is now the best pitcher on the team.

And for anybody concerned with his little scissor outburst last year in Chicago — he cut up the team’s throwback jerseys before a game he was supposed to start — as long as he’s making 32 starts and striking out 225 guys a year, he can do whatever he wants to the Red Sox’ secondary jerseys. In fact, side note, I’m almost begging for him to cut up those red “Friday night” home jerseys. Those things are brutal. Just give me the home whites at Fenway and I’ll be just fine.

Anyways, you get the point. Sale is the type of pitcher you watch and say, “Why can’t we get a guy like that?”

Well, now the Red Sox have him. And regardless of what the headlines read or what the prospect junkies will tell you, they didn’t give up on the future to get him. They just added to it.

And that’s an absolute steal.

Listen to “The Danny Picard Show” atdannypicard.com& oniTunes. Danny can also be heard weekends on WEEI 93.7 FM. Follow him on Twitter@DannyPicard.

 
 
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