In the real world, arguments can be made that both the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox will benefit from their blockbuster trade.
The Red Sox get a perennial Cy-Young candidate to lift their rotation into the top tier of the American League, and the White Sox get a badly needed influx of young talent.
In the world of baseball card collecting though, the winners are the lucky holders of Chris Sale baseball cards – and the results have been instantaneous.
We have tracked the online sales of Chris Sale’s 2010 Bowman Chrome prospect card (graded 9.5. with 10 auto) over the past three months, and while the sample size is small, the average selling price has jumped from $52 to $93 (a 79% increase) since he was traded on Dec. 6, 2016.
What’s even more fascinating is that two transactions were made on the date Sale was traded. Not surprisingly, in the transaction before the trade the selling price was $56, while the price skyrocketed to $90 after the trade announcement.
It looks like hobbyists and collectors like Sale’s outlook now that he’s playing at Fenway Park. Again, the sample size is small, but when looking over the details it’s hard to disagree with the market reaction.
First, at an average selling price of $52 before the trade, Sale’s prospect card was almost criminally undervalued. Even as a perennial Cy-Young candidate, Sale’s rookie autographed card was trading around or below less accomplished pitchers like Aaron Sanchez and Lucas Giolito.
At an average selling price of $90, there is still potential room for growth. For example, Madison Bumgarner’s 2009 prospect card trades at around $150-$180. Second, playing for a World Series contender with one of the most storied franchises could be a boost for the value of Sale’s card.
Sale will also get a lot more media exposure, and with Boston’s high power offense around him, hopefully more wins to add to the resume.
Fenway Park and the other AL East ballparks are often not kind to pitchers, but Sale is a legit ace who can handle himself in any stadium. It’s not as though U.S. Cellular Field and other AL Central ballparks where he used to pitch more often were pitching safe havens anyways.
We’re expecting Chris Sale to have a strong year, for one of the best teams in the league, and investors are probably right to be excited about jumping on board. Of course those who were already on board are the big winners.