(Reuters) - The Boston Red Sox dramatically retooled to build anew after winning the World Series in 2013, but on Tuesday they revised the blueprint again to go all-in for another title chase.
The time was right to send four promising players, including top Major League Baseball prospect Yoan Moncada of Cuba, to the Chicago White Sox for five-time All Star pitcher Chris Sale, said Dave Dombrowski, Boston’s president of baseball operations.
“We feel it gives us a chance to win now,” Dombrowski told a news conference at MLB’s Winter Meetings in Maryland on Tuesday.
Sale joins a rotation that already boasts this year’s Cy Young winner Rick Porcello and previous recipient David Price.
Boston endured two losing seasons after their last World Series triumph but remade their roster in the process.
They won the American League East title in 2016 with only second baseman Dustin Pedroia and designated hitter David Ortiz as carryovers from the 2013 starting lineup but fell to the Cleveland Indians in their first playoff series.
Dombrowski believed he had to dip into his pool of young talent to put the team over the top.
“If you’re going to get good players you have to give up good players and it hurts,” Dombrowski told MLB TV.
“When you have a chance to win you go for it, you go for it. You really need to go for it when you can, when you think you have a legitimate chance to win.”
The Sale deal was one of three moves the Red Sox made on Tuesday. Boston swapped corner man Travis Shaw and two minor leaguers to Milwaukee for reliever Tyler Thornburg, and then reportedly agreed to terms with first baseman Mitch Moreland.
“In light of David Ortiz’s retirement, how we were going to improve our team it felt like pitching was the priority,” said manager John Farrell. “And we really have been able to do that.”
Farrell said Sale was just the kind of player needed.
“He pitches with an edge. I think there’s a persona he projects ... that’s the image the team will take with him when he’s on the mound,” the Boston manager said.
“That edge and that competitive nature that he has, anytime you can add those types of personalities that go along with the abilities, you’re getting the premium type of players you hope to have on your roster.”
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue