A New Chapter Begins
In a surprising move, the Boston Red Sox have traded left-handed pitcher Chris Sale to the Atlanta Braves. Sale, who had a no-trade clause, waived it to head down to Georgia, embracing a fresh start with a new team.
A Tale of Injuries
Since his arrival in Boston, Sale’s tenure has been plagued by numerous injuries. While he made 32 starts in his first season with the team, he has failed to reach 30 starts in subsequent seasons. He missed the entire 2020 season and only managed 11 starts in 2021 and 2022 combined.
A Dominant Force
Prior to his injuries, Sale was regarded as one of the most dominant starting pitchers in the game. From 2012 to 2018, he was an All-Star every season and consistently ranked among the top contenders for the Cy Young Award. During his time with the Red Sox, Sale played a crucial role in their 2018 World Series victory, recording the final out against Manny Machado.
A Rocky Road to Recovery
Unfortunately, Sale’s performance has been hampered by a series of injuries, including elbow inflammation, Tommy John surgery, rib fracture, a broken finger, and shoulder inflammation. These setbacks have undoubtedly affected his ability to maintain his previous level of excellence on the mound.
New Opportunities in Atlanta
With his move to the Braves, Sale now has the chance to join an already-stacked rotation, including talented pitchers like Spencer Strider, Max Fried, and Charlie Morton. If he can regain his health and return to form, Sale has the potential to make a significant impact on the team’s success.
As part of the deal, Sale signed a five-year, $145 million extension with the Red Sox before the 2019 season. The extension kicked off in the 2020 season. The Braves will also have the option to bring Sale back for the 2025 season with a $20 million salary.
Last year, Sale posted a 4.30 ERA in 20 starts, demonstrating his ability to strike out batters with an average of 11.0 strikeouts per nine innings. In return for Sale, the Red Sox will receive outfielder Vaugh Grissom from the Braves.
Both teams are entering this new chapter with high hopes. The Braves are coming off a 104-win season but were ultimately eliminated in the NLDS for the second consecutive year. The Red Sox, on the other hand, are looking to rebuild and strengthen their roster for future success.
Only time will tell how this trade will impact both teams, but one thing is for certain – the stakes are high, and the pressure is on.