Chris Sale Trade: Answering Questions You Might Have About Red Sox Blockbuster

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It’s been a good week for the Boston Red Sox.

Fresh off an impressive 2016 (regular) season, the Red Sox hit the ground running in regards to their offseason plans by flexing their muscles at the Major League Baseball winter meetings.

Boston improved its team in a variety of ways, but obviously in no bigger way than acquiring All-Star left-handed pitcher Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox in one of the biggest trades in team history.

The big news has some folks left picking up the pieces with plenty of questions to ask. We did our best to answer all of them.

Who is Chris Sale?
He’s a pitcher. A good one. How’s life under that rock?

How much money does Chris Sale make?
This is one of the best parts of the trade for the Red Sox. Sale is owed $12 million in 2017, and he has team options for a combined $26 million in 2018 and 2019 that I guarantee the Red Sox will exercise. Three years, $38 million. Side note: Rich Hill just signed for three years and $48 million.

Does he have any sort of cool nickname?
Depends whether you consider “The Condor” a cool nickname.

Can he handle the stress of pitching in Boston?
We won’t actually know for sure until the season starts, but John Farrell certainly is a believer, and you’ve gotta love what Sale said Wednesday when asked about being “the ace” of a star-studded Red Sox staff.

“We play for a trophy, not a tag.”

Is he a good fit for Fenway?
Well, first of all, he loves pitching at Fenway. Said as much Wednesday. His career numbers at Fenway: six appearances (three starts), 1-1, 3.63 ERA, 23 K’s in 22 1/3 innings pitched.

What about the Yankees? Is he any good against them?
Uh, yeah.

Who starts Opening Day?
You’ve got two Cy Young Award winners (David Price, Rick Porcello) and Sale. Who really cares? If we had to make a guess, we’d say Sale.

Is this the best rotation in baseball?
In the American League, for sure. In all of baseball? The Chicago Cubs might have something to say about that, as we discussed Wednesday morning. And that’s all assuming everyone stays healthy and assuming 2017 Porcello somehow doesn’t revert to 2015 Porcello

Who’s the odd man (or men) out on the Red Sox’s pitching staff?
You know, a lot of these questions could be answered just by reading NESN.com, as we tackled this topic already, too. But the Red Sox do have options, as they now have at least seven starters for five spots. As any baseball cliche enthusiast will tell you, a team can never have too much pitching. That being said, the Red Sox could use another bat, and Clay Buchholz has one year and “only” $13 million left on his contract … just facts.

Will the Red Sox even field minor league teams this season?
Get it? Because they traded a bunch of prospects. Losing a player like Yoan Moncada hurts, as does parting ways with someone like Michael Kopech, who can throw a baseball in excess of 100 mph. Those guys don’t come around often. But you’ve gotta give something to get something, and as we’ve already explored, the Red Sox do have *some* prospects left over.

What kind of a guy is Chris Sale?
Never met the guy, but he seems OK, right? He also seems excited to play for the Red Sox, which is all you can really ask for if you’re a fan of the team. He definitely strikes us as a “wears his emotions on his sleeves” kind of guy, as both Victor Martinez and a water cooler can attest.

He’s also left-handed, so he might be a little strange. In a good way.

Will this be enough to get David Ortiz to return?
Great question. We’re leaning toward no, despite Big Papi’s not-so-subtle social media tease Tuesday night, hours after the Red Sox acquired Sale. Ortiz sounded beat up and worn down, and you gotta imagine he’ll enjoy the retired life once he settles in … but you never know.

How do the Red Sox not win the World Series now?
They’re certainly among the favorites, and that’s certainly the expectation. Given their success last season (93 wins, American League East champions) and what they’ve done this offseason, the Red Sox have set themselves up for legitimate World Series aspirations. Anything else, quite frankly, will be a disappointment.

Thumbnail photo via Matt Marton/USA TODAY Sports Images

Have a question for Mike Cole? Send it to him via Twitter at @MikeColeNESN.

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