As if it wasn’t enough of a death sentence to be in the AL East, the Red Sox have now acquired Chris Sale from Chicago.
Word is Chicago made the Nats offer public when Washington started to drag their feet, to which Boston then swooped in and made a larger offer.
Sale joins David Price, Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez and Drew Pomeranz in the Boston rotation that figures to be a nasty one next season.
Signed out of Cuba to a record-shattering $31.5MM signing bonus (which came with a 100 percent luxury tax for the Red Sox), Moncada is a versatile switch-hitter that has spent the bulk of his minor league career at second base but has also been said to be capable of playing shortstop, third base and the outfield. Moncada’s 2016 season was nothing short of brilliant, as he batted .294/.407/.511 with 15 home runs and 45 stolen bases in just 106 games between Class-A Advanced and Double-A before briefly jumping to the Majors late in the year. To this point in his minor league career, he’s stolen 94 bases in 109 tries — a success rate of 86.2 percent.
Kopech, 20, ranks just two spots behind Moncada on that list of top Red Sox prospects over at BA. The former No. 33 overall pick (2014) generated plenty of buzz this year when he reportedly hit 105 mph in a minor league game, though Yahoo’s Jeff Passan tweets that some scouts believe that mark to be an embellishment. Nonetheless, Kopech regularly works in the triple digits with his fastball and reached Class-A Advanced as a 20-year-old in 2016, where he pitched to a dominant 2.25 ERA with 14.2 K/9, 5.0 BB/9 and a 42 percent ground-ball rate.
The rich just got richer, and MLB as a whole will be worse off for it.
The 22-year-old Diaz, not to be confused with the former Mets outfielder of the same name, spent the 2016 season pitching for Boston’s Class-A affiliate and worked to a 3.88 ERA with 9.4 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 and a 58 percent ground-ball rate in 60 1/3 innings of relief work. He comes with the least fanfare of the four prospects in this deal but still has an upper 90s heater that has reached triple digits. MLB.com rated Diaz 28th on their midseason list of top Red Sox prospects, noting that in addition to a power fastball has a pair of inconsistent but promising secondary pitches in his slider and splitter. Diaz hasn’t made a start as a pro, so he seems like a pure relief prospect, but if he’s able to harness his control a bit and develop the secondary pitches, it sounds like there’s a potential late-inning relief arm there.