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White Sox snag big arm from Boston

Franklin German switches Sox, while the blacksmith heads to Beantown

Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox
On Friday, the White Sox moved fast and struck a smart deal for high-ceiling reliever Franklin German.
Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

On Friday, the White Sox proved adept dumpster divers, pulling Franklin German out of the DFA detritus outside of Fenway Park, swinging a waiver deal for Double-A reliever Theo Denlinger.

Here’s the full, copyedited White Sox release on the trade:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, February 3, 2023


CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox have acquired right-handed reliever Franklin German (“JUR-min”) from Boston in exchange for righthander Theo Denlinger. To make room for German on the 40-man roster, the White Sox designated righthander Jason Bilous for assignment.

German, 25, was named the Red Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2022 after going 5-2 with a 2.72 ERA, seven saves, 64 strikeouts (11.6 per 9.0 IP) and a 0.906 WHIP in 43 relief appearances with Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester. He limited opponents to a .155 (26-168) opponents average between the two stops.

German, 6´2´´ and 195 pounds, also made five appearances with the Red Sox after his contract was selected from Worcester on September 17. He was designated for assignment by Boston on January 30.

German, a native of Queens, N.Y., has gone 13-19 with a 3.93 ERA and 264 strikeouts in 97 games (41 starts) over five minor-league seasons. He originally was selected by the Yankees in the fourth round of the 2018 draft out of the University of North Florida. German was traded by the Yankees to Boston on Jan. 25, 2021 with right-hander Adam Ottavino in exchange for cash considerations.

Denlinger, 26, combined to go 2-2 with a 4.47 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 40 appearances last season with High-A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham. He was selected by the White Sox in the seventh round of the 2021 draft out of Bradley University.

Bilous, 25, split the 2022 season between Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte, going 6-11 with a 7.15 ERA and 131 strikeouts (11.2 per 9.0 IP) over 31 games (21 starts).

The White Sox 40-man roster remains at 40.

The down side of this deal could be less losing Denlinger — who, amazingly, is older than German — than possibly losing Bilous. While the numbers above don’t spell anything special, the righthander looks to fully shift to the bullpen in 2023, possibly yielding Kade McClure improvements.

Then again, the White Sox already traded away McClure, so perhaps any claim on Bilous scares them not.

There is some debate about how much German can bring to the White Sox. He seemingly has less upside than recent acquisition Gregory Santos, but possesses the command and power arm to contribute out of the South Side pen at some level. His 2022 numbers in Double-A and Triple-A are unimpeachably divine; if it translates to the majors (it didn’t in his cup of coffee last fall), Rick Hahn has himself a steal.