The Red Sox and Braves swung a fascinating trade Saturday, with Boston sending Chris Sale and cash to Atlanta for infielder Vaughn Grissom.

Grissom figures to be the Red Sox’s starting second baseman in 2024, while Sale joins a talented Braves rotation that also includes Spencer Strider, Max Fried and Charlie Morton.

On the surface, the deal makes sense for both teams, even though the Red Sox subtracted an arm at a time when they still need starting pitching. Grissom has the potential to be a lineup mainstay for Boston, with six years of club control remaining on his contract ahead of his age-23 season.

ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle graded the trade and gave a favorable mark to each the team: The Braves received an A-minus. The Red Sox a B-plus.

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“This deal was too good for Boston to pass up, if only because of Grissom’s tantalizing combination of youth, defensively flexibility and low service-time count,” Doolittle wrote. “In the near term, he figures to slot into the starting second base gig for Boston, next to shortstop Trevor Story.”

Grissom has just 64 games of major league experience, during which he slashed .287/.339/.407 with five home runs and 27 RBIs across 236 plate appearances. So, the Red Sox obviously are rolling the dice on his upside.

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But there’s a lot to like about the 2019 11th-round pick. He’s coming off a 2023 in which he posted a .330/.419/.501 line with eight home runs, 61 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 468 plate appearances at Triple-A.

“Grissom is a strong candidate to hit .300 with Fenway as his home park, given his track record to date, while providing a threat on the bases,” Doolittle wrote. “His contact and line-drive ability fits the M.O. of what the Boston offense has done best in recent seasons. It should be a lot of fun to see some kind of lineup configuration featuring Grissom, Masataka Yoshida and Jarren Duran setting the table for Rafael Devers, (Triston) Casas and Story.”

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The Red Sox took a step toward solidifying their rotation with the addition of Lucas Giolito. That presumably made the Sale trade more palatable from Boston’s standpoint, and now it’ll be interesting to see what else Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow has up his sleeve this offseason.

Featured image via Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports Images