Red Sox add Sale to loaded rotation

The Associated Press

OXON HILL, Md. — No surprise that Chris Sale got traded. The real shocker? That the Boston Red Sox swooped in to snag him.

The reloading Red Sox pulled off the biggest deal yet at the winter meetings, acquiring the dominant ace from the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday for a hefty package of four prospects.

“The ability to get a Chris Sale doesn’t come along very often,” Boston president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said.

Sale joined an already talented rotation with the AL East champions, now pitching alongside 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello, former winner David Price and knuckleballer Steven Wright. He leaves behind a shredded reputation in Chicago, suspended by the team last summer after he flew into a rage and cut up retro uniforms that the club was supposed to wear.

The 27-year-old Sale has been an All-Star in each of the last five seasons, finishing high in Cy Young Award voting every time, but has never played in the postseason.

Sale was 17-10 with a 3.34 ERA and 233 strikeouts this year, a season after he led the majors by fanning 274.

To get him, Boston traded high-priced third baseman Yoan Moncada, considered by many the top young talent in baseball, along with pitchers Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz, and outfielder Luis Basabe.

Sale was a top trade target across the majors this offseason, and Washington seemed to be the favorite to land him this week.

Instead, he’s headed to Fenway.

“That’s a big one. That’s a blockbuster,” Brian Cashman, general manager of the rival Yankees, said of the trade. “That was a wow.”