All-Star ace Chris Sale is joining the reloading Boston Red Sox, leaving behind his shredded reputation with the Chicago White Sox.
Boston acquired Sale on Tuesday for a package of four prospects, including high-priced Yoan Moncada.
Sale was a top trade target at the winter meetings and the AL East champion Red Sox were getting him instead of Washington, which also pursued.
A few hours earlier, Boston got prime setup man Tyler Thornburg from Milwaukee. After that deal was announced, without tipping his hand, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said: "We're trying to win now, as you can see."
Boston acquired Sale for minor league pitchers Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz, outfielder Luis Basabe and Moncada, a third baseman.
>>Cubs Close To Deal With Royals for Closer Davis
Coming off their first World Series title in several generations, the Cubs had few glaring needs heading into the offseason. Much of their young core is still intact, but they did need some bullpen depth. It appears they're going to bolster it by adding an elite arm to the back end.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the Cubs are "close" to completing a trade for Royals closer Wade Davis that would send Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler to Kansas City.
Davis, 31, saved 27 games in 30 chances with a 1.87 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 47 strikeouts in 43 1/3 innings. He was bothered by forearm soreness during the season, limiting him to a much smaller workload than normal. There were two DL stints and slightly diminished velocity late in the season.
That said, Davis was arguably the best reliever in baseball in 2014-15, posting a combined 0.97 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and 187 strikeouts in 139 1/3 innings.
Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reported the Nationals were making a late push for Davis. Other reports indicated the Dodgers were involved here as well.
Davis is set to make $10 million this season before hitting free agency.
In parts of three seasons, Soler has hit .258/.328/.436 (107 OPS+) with 35 doubles, 27 homers and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances. There have been spurts that illustrate his massive upside, such as his performance in the 2015 playoffs, but he's also had lots of injury woes, namely on his hamstrings.
Again, Soler has huge upside and is signed on a nine-year, $30 million deal that runs through 2020.