What Does the Chris Sale Trade Mean for the Blue Jays?

Anywhere but Boston (or New York).

Ask most Toronto Blue Jays fans, and those two cities are at the top of their lists for places where they don’t want to see big name free agents sign or highly-coveted players land in trade.

Well, the Boston Red Sox pulled off another huge trade, getting Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Yoan Moncada and others.


It’s funny, just one day after Drew (of Ghostrunner on First/Birds All Day) said “trade ’em all” when it comes to prospects on Birds All Day: 92, Dave Dombrowski did exactly that for one of the best pitchers in the American League.

Sale joins an accomplished starting rotation in Boston, comprised of former Blue Jay David Price, reigning Cy Young winner Rick Porcello, Drew Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez.

If the Toronto Blue Jays had the most formidable starting rotation in the American League before this trade, they certainly don’t anymore. Chris Sale merely puts the Red Sox over top and compliments an already solid roster in Boston.

Honestly, there is a little bit of envy in this Chris Sale trade. While the Blue Jays would’ve loved to add a starting pitcher of Sale’s calibre, the Jays’ starting rotation is already set. Toronto probably didn’t have the prospects to get a deal done with the White Sox anyway.

So how does this deal affect the Toronto Blue Jays? Quite simply, it makes one of the biggest competitors that much stronger, and it means the Blue Jays will now face Chris Sale 4-5 times a year instead of the usual 2-3.

The direct impact on the Blue Jays will be minimal, but a trade of this magnitude can sometimes send opposing fan bases into a tailspin. “Why couldn’t we do a deal like that?” a popular sentiment floating around Toronto sports talk radio stations this afternoon.

Here’s something to put that in perspective; the rest of baseball was probably saying the exact same thing when the Blue Jays landed Josh Donaldson – or even Troy Tulowitzki. Players that seemingly were untouchable suddenly showed up in Toronto and left the baseball world stunned.

This Chris Sale trade is surprising only for the reason that it’s the Red Sox … that’s it. But really, should we be surprised that Dave Dombrowski and company were willing to do a deal like this? This interesting note from Joshua at BP Toronto.


After the Chris Sale, there are some that might view this Blue Jays’ offseason as a failure if they don’t sign someone like Dexter Fowler. It would be disheartening if the Jays didn’t fill one of their outfield vacancies with a top 10 outfielder, but by no means are the Blue Jays doomed if they don’t.

If the Boston Red Sox were going to remain competitive in the American League East in an attempt to defend their division title. they were going to be aggressive this offseason (even though all indications pointed towards the Red Sox trying to reel in their spending).

Really, this move shouldn’t affect the Blue Jays whatsoever … aside from Chris Sale directly facing the Blue Jays as a starter for the Red Sox.

The Red Sox were going to make moves this offseason; which they’ve done. The Blue Jays have made a few of their own already and likely have more to come. Before anybody gets upset about the Jays not making a trade of the similar magnitude as the Red Sox, just wait for the rest of the offseason to unfold

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.