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Braves acquire Chris Sale in trade with Red Sox; Vaughn Grissom lands in Boston

In Sports
December 31, 2023
Aug 23, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (41) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Seven-time All-Star Chris Sale is headed to Atlanta.

The Braves are acquiring the pitcher and cash considerations in a trade with the Boston Red Sox, who will get sought-after prospect Vaughn Grissom, according to a Saturday release.

The Red Sox will reportedly give the Braves $17 million in addition to Sale, who waived his no-trade clause to go to Atlanta. The extra cash, reported by the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, will likely go toward paying the 34-year-old’s $27.5 million salary for the 2024 season.

Grissom has been playing winter ball in Puerto Rico as he prepares for a position change from the middle infield to left field. Drafted by the Braves in the 11th round of the 2019 draft, his first hit in the majors was a massive homer out of Fenway.

Now, the milestone location will be his home field.

Boston’s front office has been busy this week. The move to trade Sale away comes a day after the Red Sox signed top starting pitcher Lucas Giolito to a reported two-year, $38.5 million deal.

Sale is entering the last guaranteed season of his contract after spending the past seven years with the Red Sox. He was initially drafted by the Chicago White Sox with the 13th overall selection of the 2010 draft.

The most recent campaign was his best season since 2019, featuring a 4.30 ERA in 102 ⅔ innings over 20 starts. He also recorded 125 strikeouts, 29 walks and allowed 15 home runs.

Although injuries limited him to just 11 appearances from 2020-22, Sale is a decorated veteran. He earned Cy Young Award consideration for seven consecutive seasons from 2012-18, leading Boston to give him a five-year, $145 million contract extension before the 2019 season. Aside from Tommy John surgery and a shoulder issue, some of Sale’s injury layoffs seemed downright unlucky.

During his second game back from a stress fracture in his right ribcage, he was hit by a line drive that fractured his pinky. A month later, he sustained a season-ending wrist fracture in a bike accident.

As long as he stays healthy, he’s set to be a significant addition for the Braves, who already boast Spencer Strider, Max Fried and Charlie Morton in their rotation.

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