For the second time this winter, the White Sox have acquired potential bullpen depth from Ethan Katz’s old employer.
After selecting Nick Avila from the San Francisco Giants in the Rule 5 draft earlier this month, the Sox traded for right-handed reliever Gregory Santos in exchange for Kade McClure this afternoon.
The Giants designated Santos for assignment on Monday to make room on the 40-man roster for Sean Manaea. The MLB Trade Rumors story notes that the Giants were expected to remove another player to make room for Carlos Correa, but they never needed the second corresponding move. “Move over, baby shoes” indeed.
Santos, who’s entering his age-23 season, appeared in five games for San Francisco over the last two years. Both game logs started with a perfect outing, followed by imperfect ones, resulting in an 11.12 ERA with five walks to five strikeouts and three homers allowed over 5⅔ innings.
The brief cups of coffee generated Statcast data, which show a high-90s fastball and a high-80s slider. The strikeout rates have never been as impressive as his radar-gun readings, as he’s hovered around a strikeout an inning in his minor-league relief work. I’m picturing a Thyago Vieira for the TikTok generation.
Santos does have one option remaining, which gives the White Sox some time and space to shape up his arsenal if it fails to click immediately. The White Sox didn’t have an arm of Santos’ caliber in the high minors from the right side.
That included McClure, the sixth-round pick in 2017 who actually fared well in Charlotte once the White Sox shifted him to short relief work. The season numbers didn’t impress — a 4.97 ERA and 17 homers over 87 innings — but that’s because early season starts sandbagged his numbers.
|Through May 18||8||5||33||47||11||32/27||13||25|
|After May 18||36||0||54||48||6||24/21||15||71|
McClure’s fastball played up in these abbreviated outings. Here he is averaging 95 mph with his fastball over 43 pitches and three innings of scoreless ball against Durham in early September, as opposed to 93 mph in early-season starts. Still, the White Sox weren’t motivated to add McClure to the 40-man before the Rule 5 draft despite ample room, and now he’s on the way to San Francisco. He turns 27 in February, so Santos is about 3½ years younger.
If the White Sox are keeping Liam Hendriks, and Bob Nightengale says they’re not the ones saying his name …
… then Santos will be on the outside looking in, because seven spots are spoken for, and eight relievers lack immediate options.
- Liam Hendriks
- Kendall Graveman
- Reynaldo López
- Aaron Bummer
- Joe Kelly
- Jake Diekman
- José Ruiz
- Nick Avila*
Avila’s spot is contingent on him impressing the White Sox enough to keep him on the 26-man roster to meet Rule 5 pick demands. If he doesn’t beat the odds, then Jimmy Lambert is probably first in line, followed by Matt Foster and Santos while the Sox wait for Garrett Crochet to make it all the way back from Tommy John surgery.
Thyago Vieira is TikTok-ready if anyone wants to work with raw footage.
This reminds me, Eric Longenhagen just updated his international prospects list and included Vieira well down the list. He’s been pitching in Japan, but sounds like he’s available for the usual reasons. The report reads in part:
Your in depth knowledge of Thyago Vieira is impressive and scary.
I think it is close to the time for the Sox to ask bullpen needy teams for their best offers for Graveman or Kelly. Graveman especially seems to have some surplus value as similar and worse relievers got more money this winter than his current contract.
Anyone think that the lack of news on Segura and Andrus makes it likely the Sox sign one of them to play 2B ?
I really hope Segura. Andrus was good last year but prior to 2022 had not posted a WAR over 2 since 2017. He was awful in 2020/2021 and not all that great the prior two years. He was bad to mediocre in 4 of his last 5 years, basically. Segura wasn’t quite as good last year as Andrus but his overall track record prior to last year is way better.
Ok so I’ll bring up Trevor Bauer, who Clevinger is supposedly good friends with. Sounds like Bauer is done with his suspension and will be allowed to play to start the season, minus pay for 50 games. Dodgers hold a team option I believe and can effectively cut him I think. Obviously he could wind up on another team. Comments?
That guy is the definition of a distraction.
Would literally not watch a single White Sox game this season if they sign him
Me neither, but that doesn’t really change my current situation, so…
I don’t go that far, but I already am not watching games that Clevinger pitches.
Good chance you won’t miss any games
I don’t believe any team will sign him. I think his career is over. He wasn’t that good anyway and he’s a disaster for your clubhouse.
And, he would cost a team half its fan base. He’s the definition of a pariah.
Yeah, in as dysfunctional a clubhouse as Cleveland seemed to have at that time, especially amongst the pitchers, he was a cancer to them. That’s getting under a bar that’s laying flat on the ground. I wouldn’t want to see the Sox dig that hole so he could get under it again.
If I were Andrew Friedman, I’d be looking into the cost of shipping ~200lb packages to the South Pole. Get Bauer as far away as from the Dodgers, and from MLB in general, as possible. Maybe his buddy Elon would be happy to help send him to Mars… though personally I’d rather he was launched into the Sun.
They don’t have a team option. It’s a player option with a buyout of $15M owed if he declines it, which I can’t imagine he will. So he’s owed $22M for the rest of this year and then is a free agent. I’d expect LAD to DFA and release him and just eat the money to be rid of his stench. No team should touch him.
The answer is no, and don’t bring up Trevor Bauer ever again, please. He’s a TB that gives tuberculosis a bad name.
Their first base coach doesn’t seem to be problem for them. Why would Bauer?
Hell no. Trevor should be banned for life. Rapist or abusers shouldn’t have a contract on this team…oh wait.
Not sexy, but I like the move. Charlotte needs as much MLB-ready pitching depth as it can get, and Santos qualifies as that. Great upside, even if I’m not particularly confident he can come close to it.
Santos has the stuff to be an excellent RP. I like the FO’s approach re relievers this offseason— as currently set, the bullpen projects to be excellent, maybe even superlative if Katz can coax Kelly/Bummer into throwing strikes—but relievers are volatile. It’s good practice to be regularly acquiring guys like Santos or Avila for essentially free frequently— free reliever lottery tickets, basically.
The other question about Bauer is does his reinstatement put the kibosh any possible trades with the Dodgers? My guess would be yes, certainly in the $15 mil range that Hendriks would be and probably in the $9 mil range that Graveman would be.
Maybe, but I doubt it. The Dodgers are still far under the luxury tax threshold.
Not sure what you are looking at but $233,116,000 is at and a little over the $233,000,000 threshold.
He might have been looking at projected payroll and not the CBT payroll.
First Sox need for next year should be a conditioning / training coach. Trades are good only if the player is on the field. Was there any Sox player that was available for a complete 162 game seaon?
Hendriks for Busch, Pepoit a catcher and to incite the Dodgers, Bauer. DFA Bauer immediately. $15m for Bauer’s buyout (which is about Hendriks 2023 salary) and the three prospects feels like a win!