Braves acquire LHP Chris Sale from Red Sox

Field Level Media

December 30, 2023 at 8:07 pm.

The Atlanta Braves acquired All-Star left-hander Chris Sale and cash considerations from the Boston Red Sox on Saturday in exchange for infield prospect Vaughn Grissom.

Sale waived his no-trade clause to make the move to the National League for the first time, with the Red Sox set to send $17 million to the Braves in order to offset Sale’s 2024 salary.

A seven-time All-Star, Sale is owed $27.5 million in 2024, with a $20 million club option for 2025. If the 2025 option is exercised, $5 million of that is deferred until 2040.

Sale, 34, has dealt with injury issues in recent seasons, making 20 starts last season and 31 combined starts over the past three seasons. Sale did not pitch in 2020 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had a stress fracture in his ribs in 2022 along with a finger fracture and a broken wrist while reportedly riding a bicycle.

Last season, Sale dealt with a stress fracture in his scapula, going 6-5 with a 4.30 ERA in his 20 starts with 125 strikeouts and 29 walks.

In 13 seasons with the Chicago White Sox (2010-16) and Red Sox, Sale is 120-80 with a 3.10 ERA, 2,189 strikeouts and 416 walks. He was an All-Star in seven consecutive seasons starting in 2012 and finished as high as second in American League Cy Young Award voting in 2017, and third in 2014. He has seven top-six finishes in Cy Young voting.

Sale’s 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings is the best in baseball history.

In five appearances (three starts) during Boston’s World Series-title run in 2018, Sale went 1-0 with a 4.11 ERA. He gave up three runs in four innings of a Game 1 World Series start against the Los Angeles Dodgers then pitched a scoreless final inning of the deciding Game 5 to give the Red Sox the title.

Grissom, 22, made his major league debut with the Braves in 2022 and has a .287 batting average with five home runs in 27 RBIs in 64 games with Atlanta over the past two seasons. Grissom, who was born in Orlando, was an 11th-round draft pick by the Braves in 2019.