The Boston Red Sox have traded pitcher Chris Sale to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for infielder Vaughn Grissom, it was announced today. The Red Sox are also reportedly sending $17 million to Atlanta as part of this deal.
The Atlanta Braves signed reliever Reynaldo Lopez earlier this offseason, and the joke at the time was that they would also end up with Lucas Giolito, since Lopez and Giolito were traded together twice, as well as both being claimed by the Cleveland Guardians as part of the August waiverpocalypse that the Anaheim Angels did. Instead, the Braves are landing a pitcher that Boston may have been willing to part with due, in part, to their agreeing to terms with Giolito yesterday.
Sale, who turns 35 in March, is in the final year of a 5 year, $145 million contract that has been, to put it mildly, a disaster. Sale has, over those four years, put up a 3.93 ERA in 151 innings over 31 starts — pretty good if it had been one season, not good for four years. Most of those outings came in 2023, when he put up a 4.30 ERA in 20 starts over 102 innings, with a 3.80 ERA.
Sale is under contract for $27 million this year, so the Braves are paying him $10 million to see if he can get somewhere close to the guy he was when he placed in the top six in the Cy Young balloting for seven straight seasons. There is also a $20 million vesting option for 2025.
The BoSox, meanwhile, get an infielder who turns 23 in a few days, and who would appear to be able to step in and fill their vacant second base job. Grissom had no real path to a regular role in Atlanta. He has a career .287/.339/.407 major league slash line in 236 plate appearances over the past two seasons.