The Braves entered the Major League Baseball offseason with a starting pitcher need, and they were able to land one through a trade with the Red Sox.

Atlanta acquired veteran left-hander Chris Sale from Boston in exchange for infielder Vaughn Grissom. The deal required approval from Sale, who gave the green light in order to join a Braves rotation that also features Spencer Steider, Max Fried and Charlie Morton.

Speaking with the media last week, Alex Anthopolous revealed he was able to speak with Sale a few hours before the trade was announced. Atlanta’s general manager also provided a few details about the conversation.

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“He was great,” Anthopolous told reporters, per SB Nation. “We had done so much work on the person, talked to teammates and people just absolutely rave about this guy. Obviously ability and what he does on the mound is the priority, but the makeup and the clubhouse fit is not far behind. So knowing he can just come in and be himself and go about things the way he always has, I think it’s going to be a fantastic fit. He’s excited. He lives in Naples, so he’s not far from our complex. He was already asking me about when he can go and throw. He’s already thrown bullpens, and he’s ready to continue to prepare for spring. He was excited, and we’re excited to have him.”

In the same media availability, Anthopolous explained how tough it was to move on from Grissom, who is thought of “so highly” in Atlanta. The GM’s remarks made it easy to understand why the Red Sox were “adamant” about acquiring the 22-year-old in a deal for Sale.

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