The Boston Red Sox are widely regarded as one of Major League Baseball’s most respected franchises and it was hardly surprising to see manager John Farrell pull a few strings in a bid to get the Red Sox back to the World Series ahead of the 2017 campaign. Boston have failed to lift the World Series crown since beating the St Louis Cardinals in 2013 but the signing of Chris Sale should certainly help their chances of success next year.

Sale has been named as an MLB All-Star five times in as many years and Red Sox supporters will be licking their lips at the prospect of watching him in action at Fenway Park. The former Chicago star was with the White Sox franchise ever since he was selected with the 13th pick in 2010. According to Fangraphs, Sale is just one of five players to feature in the Major Leagues in the same year that they were drafted; a fact that tells a lot about just how talented he is.

As of December 15th, the Red Sox are 5/1 for the World Series in the bet365 baseball betting markets and Sale’s arrival may convince fans to side with Boston over their rivals. While the Chicago Cubs were simply sublime in 2016, Farrell’s side might be about to find their best form now that they have a competent pitching option in the ranks. Remember, Sale was the American League strikeout leader back in 2015 and the Red Sox fan base will be expecting big things from their exciting new signing this year.

However, some have claimed that Boston had to give up too much for Sale – and that could hinder their chances of glory in 2017. The Red Sox were forced to give up four players in order to sign Sale to their roster; a sign that the Boston hierarchy have decided to adopt the ‘win now’ approach. In a way, it was a risky trade for both sides. Boston decided to give up four talented youngsters, all of whom have plenty of potential but are yet to showcase their talent on the big stage.

If Yoah Moncada, MLB’s hottest prospect, fulfills his potential, Chicago will come out on top in this trade. Meanwhile, the right-handed Michael Kopech has the ability to pitch at over 100 miles per hour and the White Sox will be keeping a close eye on his progress. It sounds risky for Chicago to give up a proven talent for potential but both players are capable of guiding the White Sox to the World Series in the future if they continue to develop.

Sale will have to deal with the pressure of expectation at Boston but he is experienced enough and talented enough to cope with this. The former Chicago White Sox star will give his new franchise a much greater chance of success and that is what the Boston Red Sox need. A change in direction was certainly needed to keep Boston relevant at the summit of the sport and Sale will be hoping that he can add a World Series title to his already impressive resumé.