The 2018 baseball season came to an end last night after the Boston Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games. For us White Sox fans, it was the final punch in the gut for our miserable 2018 campaign.
This is nothing new to us as we are used to getting let down and feeling defeated, but watching Chris Sale strike out Manny Machado to finish off the series was a different kind of pain. We knew it was coming, the Red Sox dominated throughout the playoffs and into the World Series. But my heart wasn’t ready for Sale to pitch the ninth inning and win the game. Watching him celebrate on that mound was everything I wish he could have accomplished while on the South Side.
All White Sox fans wanted him to succeed and watch him win a ring, but saying that and actually see him get it are two different things. I am more than happy for Sale but a flashback of emotions appeared right in front of my eyes. This brings about the question that has been brewing for years, one that has formed into a new question now. Did the Red Sox just win the Chris Sale trade?
When Sale was traded away to the Red Sox, the baseball world erupted. We knew he was getting dealt, it was just a matter of when at that point. It was a blockbuster deal as the White Sox received Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Alexander Basabe and Victor Diaz. Immediately following the trade, Dave Dombrowski, the GM of the Red Sox, was criticized for simply giving up too much of a package for Sale.
Everybody knew the big names and potential of Moncada (who was the number one overall prospect) and Kopech (who throws absolute heat), and I would be the first advocate that said the White Sox fleeced them. I was more than happy for what we received back as it was the start of a rebuild, and an almost perfect start if you ask me. But looking back on the trade, was it really too much for Dombrowski and the Red Sox to give up?
Everybody’s goal is to obviously win a world series. And every GM and owner alike should do what it takes to get there (cough, cough Jerry Reinsdorf). Yes, giving up a ton of talented prospects was a huge price to pay, but they just achieved the ultimate goal of winning a World Series title. So does that mean no matter who pans out for the White Sox, or if they win a World Series, the Red Sox won the trade?
My answer: it is still way too early to tell. But right now yes, they have won the trade. That doesn’t mean this forever asking question is put to rest. There is still questions to be answered: Yoan’s strikeout numbers, how will Kopech bounce back from his Tommy John surgery, and can Basabe excel enough to be mentioned as a candidate for the best problem you can have in baseball: a flooded outfield? I expect all these questions to be answered and for them to take on the call to be great.
The good news for us White Sox fans, these kids are still extremely young and are still developing, so the narrative of how good can these prospects be is still very much alive. If one of these talented players can lead us back to prominence and a World Series title, it automatically becomes a win-win trade for both teams. The only remaining way for the White Sox to win the trade at this point is becoming more successful in the long-run and win more titles than the Red Sox in their Chris Sale-era. But a World Series title is now a must. It is now time for these young stars to shine and show the world why this question of who won the trade is still alive and well.
The Red Sox won their share of the trade, it is now up for the White Sox to live up to their end of the deal.
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