The Boston Red Sox’s decision to trade Chris Sale to the Atlanta Braves on Saturday couldn’t have been easy, but they had something in mind.

Vaughn Grissom.

It was actually someone, but you get the gist.

The Red Sox and Braves completed a rare one-for-one trade, with Sale heading down to Atlanta in exchange for the 22-year-old infielder. It was a move that might have initially raised eyebrows, but according to Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos, Boston clearly felt Grissom was the best player to fill its second biggest need.

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“I would have loved to have kept him, (but they) were pretty adamant about (receiving Vaughn as the return),” Anthopoulos said Saturday, per Lindsay Crosby of Sports Illustrated.

It doesn’t appear the Red Sox are the only team enthralled with Grissom, though. Anthopoulos had no shortage of kind words for his former top prospect.

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“You’re not going to find a better human being,” Anthopoulos said. “The makeup is a good as they get. High energy player (who) makes people around him better. … It was tough, one of the harder guys to move. I called him directly. I think so highly of him, I know everyone in the organization does.”

Grissom became expendable due to Atlanta’s depth up the middle, with Orlando Arcia and Ozzie Albies blocking him from becoming an everyday player. He spent the majority of 2023 with the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate, the Gwinnett Stripers, finishing the campaign by slashing .330/.419/.501 with eight home runs, 36 doubles, four triples and 61 RBIs in 102 games.

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“It’s a painful one because of how highly we view him, but it’s a much better fit for his career. We’re obviously having him play a little bit in the outfield just to find more at-bats for him, because he’s obviously ready to be an everyday player. That’s a big league (bat) right now and this is a great opportunity for his career.”

Grissom already has made plenty of memories at Fenway Park, making his Major League Baseball debut, recording his first hit and belting his first home run at America’s Most Beloved Ballpark in 2022. He’ll have plenty of time to make more over the next six seasons with the Red Sox.

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images