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On the move: Dominic Fletcher is heading to the South Side.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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Trades galore: Dominic Fletcher, Prelander Berroa, and Zach DeLoach to the White Sox

The South Siders traded Gregory Santos to Seattle and Cristian Mena to Arizona

The stove heated up quite a bit on Saturday, when the White Sox made a pair of trades.

Reliever Gregory Santos, one of the South Siders’ few positive stories of 2023, will be a Mariner in 2024. In 66 1⁄3 innings, Santos posted a 3.39 ERA, a 2.65 FIP, and a 3.31 xFIP, resulting in 1.6 fWAR last season. Santos gave the White Sox many excellent innings, and Seattle’s bullpen will be stronger as a result of this trade.

While the White Sox gave up a valuable reliever, in return, they acquired right-handed pitcher Prelander Berroa and outfielder Zach DeLoach. Berroa, 23, was Seattle’s No. 15 prospect in 2023, per Berroa spent most of last season in Double-A, where he posted a 2.89 ERA, a 2.88 FIP, and a 3.79 xFIP in 65 1⁄3 innings. Control was an issue for Berroa (5.37 BB/9), but hitters have tons of trouble making contact against him (13.91 K/9). In addition, his home run rate (0.28 HR/9) is highly encouraging. Despite being listed at a modest 5´11´´, 170, Berroa’s fastball has a ton of life, generally sitting in the mid-upper 90s, and he pairs that with a slider that MLB Pipeline grades a 55 (slightly above average).

DeLoach, the other prospect coming over from the Santos trade, is 25, and coincidentally, MLB Pipeline ranked him 25th among Seattle’s prospects last year. There are no glaring weaknesses in DeLoach’s game, but he is not extraordinary on paper, either. DeLoach spent all of 2023 in Triple-A, where he slashed .286/.387/.481 (111 wRC+). DeLoach’s ability to get on base is his most significant asset, and it appears that MLB Pipeline underestimated his power tool (45 last year), as he launched 23 home runs in 2023.

In addition to Berroa and DeLoach, the White Sox received the No. 69 overall pick in the 2024 draft. Although Santos did a terrific job last year, it was his first successful year in the majors, and relievers are relatively volatile from one year to the next. While the White Sox closer role is now up in the air, this appears to be a good haul for Santos. Meanwhile, the White Sox designated Lane Ramsey for assignment to make room for the new players.

In a separate deal, the White Sox send pitching prospect Cristian Mena to the Diamondbacks in exchange for outfielder Dominic Fletcher. Mena, 21, spent most of 2023 with Double-A Birmingham, where he posted a 4.66 ERA, a 4.71 FIP, and a 4.27 xFIP in 114 innings. Mena also posted a 5.95 ERA, a 3.73 FIP, and a 5.70 xFIP in 19 2⁄3 innings with Triple-A Charlotte. Mena was No. 10 on MLB Pipeline’s White Sox prospect rankings and No. 8 among SSS Top Prospects. The 26-year-old Fletcher is a left-handed batter and thrower, appearing in 28 career MLB games, all with Arizona. In those games, Fletcher slashed .301/.350/.441 (113 wRC+), accumulating 0.6 fWAR. Fletcher has experience at all three outfield positions, but right field is most likely where he will spend the majority of his time with the White Sox, especially with All-Star Luis Robert Jr. occupying center.

Although Mena shows a lot of potential, I like this trade. Mena still has some kinks to work out before he deserves a spot on a 26-man roster, and the White Sox desperately needed help in the outfield. It will be interesting to see if Fletcher can break the recent curse of White Sox right fielders.

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