In a trade out of nowhere, Chris Getz’s first trade is sending lefty Aaron Bummer to the Braves. The White Sox received Mike Soroka, Jared Shuster, Nicky Lopez, Braden Shewmake, and Riley Gowens. Of course, the trade includes former Royals second basemen and Chicago native, Nicky Lopez. The White Sox just love acquiring former Royals and the trend will not stop this offseason.
Bummer pitched seven seasons with the Sox, having an extremely up-and-down career. He was either an elite pitcher, or could not find the zone, most of the time falling in the latter. The advanced stats are in Bummer’s favor, as he gives up a lot of weak contact. Besides this fact, the output has not been there. He had some decent seasons from 2019-2021, but besides that, he has not been great for the White Sox. Last year he pitched to a 6.79 ERA, which is absolutely terrible. His WHIP was bad too, but he had good strikeout numbers, as he struck out 12 per nine innings. Many fans will be very happy about this trade, as he was not very popular at the end of the last season.
Turning to the return, this might be a great trade for the White Sox. On the surface, they seemed to get a solid second basemen and a high-upside starting pitcher. Let’s hope this can work out for the Sox, as most trades don’t seem to work in their favor. Let’s dive a bit deeper into the return for the Sox:
Most people are familiar with Nicky Lopez from the Royals, but he is also a local product as he graduated from Naperville Central High School. Lopez is more of a contact than a power guy, which could be a nice compliment for the White Sox lineup, depending on what they do. Last year he hit .231 with 23 RBIs, but he had a 1.8 WAR, most coming from his fielding. This is a nice addition to the defense for the Sox, and he did have a season where he hit .300 in 2021, so if he is somewhere in between, this could be a nice move for the Sox.
Mike Soroka is the big fish in this trade. A stud in 2019 as a rookie, Soroka was an all-star, finished 6th in Cy Young voting, and was second in Rookie of the Year voting. That year he had 2.68 ERA in 175 innings and looked like he was going to be a frontline starter. Unfortunately, he got hurt in 2020 and did not play at all in the 2021 or 2022 season. He was not great last year when he came back in limited action, but this is a high-upside move that could pay off for the Sox, as he is still just 26 and a cheap rotation option.
Jared Shuster, a first-round pick in 2020 made his debut in the rotation for the Braves last year. The young lefty started 11 games, pitching 52 innings. He had an elevated 5.81 ERA, but he showed flashes of promise. Only having less than one year under his belt, he can be a very solid addition to the White Sox rotation if he can show off his first-round stuff. He will likely be competing for a rotation spot and could be a very solid back-of-the-rotation lefty. At the very least, he gives the Sox pitching prospects more time to get ready and gets a chance to stay here long-term.
Braden Shewmake is currently the Braves 15th ranked prospect and was their first-round pick in 2019. Getz going after these former first-round picks is never a bad thing, as they were selected there for a reason. Shewmake is a defense-first shortstop, but he hit 16 home runs and had 70 RBIs at AAA last year. He will likely be competing for the starting shortstop role now that Tim Anderson is gone and he could make a name for himself. This is a nice high-upside addition for Getz.
Lastly, Riley Gowens was the Braves 9th round pick out of Illinois in the 2023 MLB draft. He pitched well in A Ball after he was drafted and could be a decent arm for the White Sox in the near future. I like taking the chance on an Illinois kid and he could be a decent dart throw for the Sox.
Overall, the White Sox did a great job in getting value back for Aaron Bummer. At the very least, they received two high-upside arms that will likely be in the rotation for a good chunk of 2023, as well as two very good defensive middle infielders that can bridge the gap until the highly toughed prospects make their debut. This is a great trade for Chris Getz and it signals that the White Sox will likely be making plenty of moves this offseason.