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MLB Trade Rumors: Chris Sale joins AL East as Boston Red Sox acquire ace in prospect haul

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

All day yesterday it seemed that it was inevitable that Chris Sale would leaving the American League heading to the Washington Nationals. Nevermind that, rumors began to swirl that the Boston Red Sox were attempting to make a run as the White Sox ace.

Turns out those attempts came to fruition this afternoon as it was reported this afternoon that the Boston Red Sox acquired Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox for Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Alexander Basabe, and Victor Diaz (four prospects who had been ranked in the top 30 of the Red Sox system, with Moncada being number one).

The Rays reaction:

Chris Sale is one of the elite arms in the game and is under a very team friendly contract considering the value he provides. With his addition, the Red Sox starting rotation is certainly frightening as they posses the top two left handed starters in the American League in Sale and David Price.

However, they paid a hefty price to acquire Sale as Yoan Moncada, 21, has been Boston’s number one top prospect for three years in a row, and also one of the highest ranked by Baseball America, being placed third in baseball after the 2015 season. The Red Sox had signed Moncada to a massive deal during March of 2015 with a $31M signing bonus, paying a 100% penalty and suffering two years of restrictions on the international market.

The White Sox were also able to pry Michael Kopech, 20, away from Boston, a young pitcher who is known for hitting triple digits constantly. He was ranked in the top-100 by Baseball America following the 2015 season, as well as Boston’s 5th top prospect.

Rounding out the deal are two more prospects who are certainly not throw ins, as Luis Alexander Basabe, 20, was ranked the Red Sox 8th top prospects, and Victor Diaz, 22, whom MLB Pipeline had placed in the Red Sox top 30 as well.

Chris Archer is now the best pitcher who may be on the trading block, and he had been linked alongside Chris Sale the entire off-season thus far in terms of what kind of haul each pitcher would return. By comparison, Archer’s contract offers even more surplus value over a lengthier time than Sale, who now joins the AL East for the next two seasons.

Would the Rays pull the trigger on a similar deal if it’s offered?

Editor’s note: Yes. Yes they would.