When Yankees general manager Brian Cashman learned of Boston’s trade for White Sox ace Chris Sale on Tuesday, his reaction came with a basketball analogy.
“That’s a big one,” Cashman told NJ Advance Media of the deal that includes the Red Sox sending four prospects to Chicago for the lefthander. “That’s a blockbuster. It was a ‘Wow.’ Obviously they gave up a lot and they got a lot. Boston’s like the Golden State Warriors now in baseball; they’ve got their (Kevin) Durant, their (Draymond) Green, (Klay) Thompson and (Steph) Curry. It’s a big one.”
Sale–who has three-years, $38 million remaining on his contract–joins southpaw David Price and AL Cy Young winner Rick Porcello atop Boston’s starting rotation, placing the current odds for the Red Sox to win the World Series next season at 5-to-1.
Chicago received two of Boston’s top-five prospects, infielder Yoan Moncada and righthander Michael Kopech. The latter two players, outfielder Luis Basabe and righty Victor Diaz, helped complete the deal for Sale, which appeared to be in the Washington Nationals’ favor on Monday.
According to Cashman, the package Chicago insisted on receiving for Sale was always too steep, considering the bevy of top-level prospects New York has no interest in yielding.
“I’ve talked to the Chicago White Sox about a number of their different players, but the Sale price tag, you were going to have to ring a bell,” Cashman said. “We’re not prepared to back the truck up and get the one player left that you might need. We’re going in the right direction and building toward something, but it will take a little time.”
Not too long ago, it would’ve been in the Yankees’ covetous nature to counter-attack Boston’s offseason moves, but Cashman noted that “those days haven’t been around for a long time,” and that the franchise’s youth movement–which revolves around Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, and Aaron Judge–would be compromised with a trade for just one player.
“I don’t think we react, I don’t think we’re emotional,” Cashman said. “I think we have a game plan that we’re going to continue to stay diligent and determined with and I think it will serve us well over time. I think where Boston certainly is sitting currently and where we’re currently sitting, we’re on different time frames. Our efforts are to be the best we can possibly be, but with a strong mind for the future. I would think that the expectations on the Red Sox are sky high.
“Backing the truck up and unloading the best of what you’ve got, when the dust settles, you still would have other areas of need to fill potentially in the short or longer term. You’ve been depleted by doing that. I just don’t think you’re in as good a position. We’re trying to get back to the point where we are formidable and set up for both short- and long-term. We’re getting there and I’m proud of the work we’re doing, proud of the progress we’re making.”
But if the Red Sox are baseball’s version of the Golden State Warriors, what does that make the Yankees?
“Oh, I don’t know,” Cashman said. “I couldn’t tell you. But we’re in the pack. In the NBA, we’re in the pack of contenders looking to take Golden State down.”
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