As disturbing as the thought might be for Boston Red Sox fans, Chris Sale nearly was a member of the New York Yankees.
The Sox ace left-hander was traded to Boston from the Chicago White Sox prior to the 2017 season for a package of prospects that included Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech.
But the Red Sox weren’t alone in kicking the tires on Sale. The Yankees also were involved and nearly gave up a haul of their own. They almost sent a package to Chicago that included young ace Luis Severino and catcher Gary Sanchez, as well as others.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman instead elected not to make the move, and Sale ultimately landed with the Red Sox. In hindsight, Cashman has no regrets.
“Thank God I didn’t do that, actually, because you’d be missing some serious components of our Major League club right now that are under control,” Cashman said, via MLB.com. “We wouldn’t have gotten anywhere if I did anything like that with the White Sox back then.”
Cashman later explained that his comments aren’t a knock on Sale — he acknowledged that the Red Sox made the smart play for themselves — but that it wouldn’t have been right for New York.
“It’s multiple All-Star-caliber players that would have had to go in that deal,” Cashman said. “It’s no different than turning the clock back on Johan Santana when he went from Minnesota to the (New York) Mets. We could have played on it, but it would have taken three or four pieces off our club. When the dust settles, you’re no better for the takeaways than the additions.
“In this case, you’d be losing starting position players that you have that are under control, as well as a Cy Young Award candidate in his own right.”
All things considered, the deal worked out far better for Boston than it would have for New York. Sanchez has his struggles, sure, but he’s still a routine power threat in the middle of the lineup, while Severino could win a Cy Young in the not-too-distant future. Meanwhile, none of the players the Red Sox parted with have been overly impressive at the major-league level.
Still, we’re sure Sox fans cringe at the thought of Sale in pinstripes.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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