Red Sox go all-in for 2017 with Chris Sale stunner

How did Boston's trade for Sale come about? (1:00)

Buster Olney says the Red Sox came in hard on Chris Sale after it was learned the Nationals were close on a deal, and outlines how Boston has traded four elite prospects over the past 13 months in order to win. (1:00)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Dealer Dave has struck again.

After months of on-again, off-again conversations, ESPN.com has confirmed the Boston Red Sox have acquired ace lefty Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox for a package that includes 21-year-old infielder Yoan Moncada and 20-year-old right-hander Michael Kopech, two of the most prized prospects in baseball.

And so, once again, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has stolen the show at the winter meetings.

Dombrowski is known as one of the most aggressive wheeler-dealers in the industry, a daring executive who finds blockbuster trades to be downright irresistible. Even by his standards, though, this one is a whopper.

It also makes the Red Sox the team to beat in the American League and ratchets up already astronomical expectations for an organization that is clearly going for it now.

Sale, 27, has finished among the top six in the AL Cy Young Award voting in five consecutive seasons. The 6-foot-6 lefty is as dominant and consistent as it gets, and he comes with one of the most team-friendly contracts in the game. Sale will make $12 million in 2017 and has team options for 2018 and 2019 worth $12.5 million and $13.5 million, respectively.

The Red Sox will add Sale to a rotation that includes $217 million lefty David Price, AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and 23-year-old lefty Eduardo Rodriguez in a group that rivals the star-studded staffs fronted by Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer that Dombrowski assembled in Detroit.

Dombrowski, whose list of megatrades includes the acquisitions of Miguel Cabrera and Scherzer for the Detroit Tigers, has been linked to Sale for almost a year. The Red Sox inquired on Sale before this summer's trade deadline, but Dombrowski said they never came close to a deal. At the time, the White Sox were believed to be focused on receiving All-Star center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. in any deal with the Red Sox.

As recently as the general managers meetings last month, Dombrowski said it was unlikely that the Red Sox would add another starting pitcher this winter, even as White Sox general manager Rick Hahn made clear that Chicago was finally willing to talk seriously about trading Sale.

But when the Washington Nationals began to emerge Monday night as the favorite to acquire Sale, Dombrowski swooped in.

The Red Sox invested heavily in Moncada two years ago, signing him out of Cuba for a record $31.5 million. They moved him to third base this past season, and he made his major league debut late in the year. Although he revealed himself to not yet be ready for the big leagues -- he went 4-for-19 with 12 strikeouts -- the Red Sox still believe he has the ability to become an All-Star.

Kopech, meanwhile, left scouts breathless in the Arizona Fall League with a fastball that registers in the triple digits. He posted a 2.25 ERA in 11 starts for Class A Salem and was on the fast track to being the first homegrown Red Sox starting pitcher to make a significant impact in the big leagues since Clay Buchholz.

The Red Sox also are giving up Class A outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe and Class A pitcher Victor Diaz as part of a prospect haul the rebuilding White Sox are counting on eventually leading them back into contention.

Let there be no doubt, though, about Boston's intentions. It's World Series or bust for Dombrowski, who once again got his man.