The MLB offseason has been off to a sluggish start, but the White Sox announced their presence late Thursday night with a six-player trade that sent reliever Aaron Bummer to the Braves.
The White Sox acquired right-hander Mike Soroka, left-hander Jared Shuster, infielders Nickey Lopez and Braden Shewmake, and minor-league pitcher Riley Gowens.
Two and a half months into the job as general manager, Chris Getz began to forge the team’s offseason direction.
Bummer, 30, was a homegrown bullpen talent, drafted by the White Sox in the 19th round of the 2014 Draft. In parts of seven seasons in Chicago, Bummer amassed a 3.84 ERA. He developed into a high-leverage reliever but was hampered by injury in 2022, which was shaping up to be one of his best seasons.
This past year, Bummer posted a 6.79 ERA despite a knack for generating ground balls (60.1% ground ball rate).
Soroka, 26, was an All-Star and Rookie of the Year runner-up in 2019. But he tore his achilles in August of 2020 and missed most of the next two seasons after undergoing surgery. This past season, he went 4-4 with a 3.41 ERA in Triple-A Gwinnett and made seven major-league appearances, six as a starter and one out of the bullpen (6.40 ERA, 1.485 WHIP). But right forearm inflammation cut his season short in early September.
Shuster, 25, made his MLB debut in April. The Braves drafted him in the first round of the 2020 Draft, No. 25 overall. The Wake Forest alumnus climbed quickly through the Braves’ farm system. In 11 major-league starts, he went 4-3 with a 5.81 ERA.
Lopez, who was born in Naperville, offers defensive versatility as the White Sox fill the holes in their roster. The 28-year-old can play both middle infielder positions and third base. The left-handed batter has spent most of his career in the AL Central, with the Royals. The Braves acquired him before the trade deadline this year for reliever Taylor Hearn. Lopez was hitting .213 at the time, but he fared better in Atlanta, batting .277 with the Braves.
Shewmake, 25, also provides a lefty bat and middle-infield option. The 2019 first-round draft pick (No. 21 overall) debuted in May. He logged just four major-league at-bats and has yet to record his first big-league hit. But in Triple-A this year, he hit .234 with 16 home runs, 28 doubles and a trio of triples.
Gowens, a University of Illinois alumnus and Liberty native, was a ninth-round pick in this year’s draft. He made his professional debut in rookie ball less than a month later. He finished the season with a pair of Single-A Augusta appearances, posting a 1.15 ERA across both levels in five games, three starts.