(Photo by Jamie Sebau/Getty Images)
The Braves entered the offseason with pitching being a top priority for their 104-win team, while the 101-loss White Sox needed to add depth to a club that lacked it under new General Manager Chris Getz.
To that end, The Braves acquired lefthanded reliever Aaron Bummer from the White Sox in exchange for a five-player package that includes depth-type big leaguers in righthander Mike Soroka, infielder Nicky Lopez, lefthander Jared Shuster and minor leaguers Braden Shewmake and Riley Gowens.
The trade frees up three 40-man roster spots for the Braves, which will certainly be a factor as the team continues to pursue upgrades to the big league club this winter.
Aaron Bummer, LHP
Bummer’s 6.79 ERA in 2023 is unsightly upon first glance, but a look under the hood confirms the Braves acquired another high-powered arm to slot in near the back of their bullpen. Among pitchers with at least 50 innings in 2023, the gap between Bummer’s 6.79 ERA and 3.58 FIP was the largest in baseball (3.21), which indicates he had quite a bit of bad luck and could be a solid regression candidate.
Originally selected in the 19th round out of Nebraska in 2014, Bummer has been a steady bullpen presence since the 2018 season. For the last six seasons, Bummer has posted a FIP between 2.40 and 3.58 with solid strikeout and ground ball rates. He mostly pitches off of a 94-95 mph sinker and low-80s sweeper slider, and in 2023 finished in the 87th percentile for whiff and strikeout rate, the 97th percentile in ground ball rate and the 99th percentile in barrel percentage. The entirety of his big league track record and pure stuff should indicate a solid bet on him hitting the under on his 2023 ERA in 2024, when he will also be upgrading from one of the worst defenses in the league to a solid one.
WHITE SOX RECEIVE
Mike Soroka, RHP
Perhaps the biggest name in this deal, Soroka is one of three former first-round picks heading to Chicago. Like most of the names here, he’s a player the White Sox are buying low on and hoping to regain some form. After being selected with the 28th overall pick in the 2015 draft, Soroka blitzed to the major leagues as a 20-year-old in 2018 and then broke out in a tremendous 2019 season, where he was named an All-Star, finished second in Rookie of the Year voting and sixth in the Cy Young. His…