Chicago White Sox deal away Gregory Santos, Cristian Mena

ByJeff Passan ESPN logo
Sunday, February 4, 2024

The Chicago White Sox swung a pair of trades with contending teams Saturday, sending right-handed reliever Gregory Santos to the Seattle Mariners, and right-handed prospect Cristian Mena to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

From Seattle, the White Sox received a package that includes a pair of players on the Mariners' 40-man roster -- hard-throwing right-hander Prelander Berroa and outfielder Zach DeLoach -- as well as the 69th pick in the 2024 draft. In the deal with the Diamondbacks, which was announced on social media by the White Sox, outfielder Dominic Fletcher goes to Chicago from Arizona and should be in the mix for playing time this year.

Santos, 24, was the most well-regarded player moved and joins a Mariners bullpen that already boastsAndres Muñozand Matt Brash, two of the nastiest relievers in the big leagues. With a fastball that sits at 99 mph and a 92-mph slider, Santos thrived in his first full season with the White Sox, posting a 3.39 ERA and a 2.65 Fielding Independent Pitching number on account of allowing just two home runs with a nearly 4-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 66.1 innings.

With five years of team control on Santos, the Mariners were willing to give up Berroa, 23, whose stuff is similar to Santos', with a fastball that hits triple digits and a hard-breaking slider. A starter for most of his minor league career, Berroa spent last season mainly as a reliever and debuted with Seattle toward the end of the 2023 season after posting a 2.89 ERA and striking out 101 in 65.1 innings at Triple A.

Seattle had added DeLoach, 25, to their 40-man roster this winter after a standout season at Triple A, where he hit .286/.387/.481 with 23 home runs and 88 RBIs. Like Fletcher, with whom he could compete for at-bats, the left-handed-hitting DeLoach was a second-round pick. The 69th choice, with a slot value of around $1.1 million, was eligible to be traded because it is a competitive-balance pick.

At 5-foot-6, 185 pounds, Fletcher has nevertheless managed to cut an imposing figure at the plate since Arizona drafted him in 2019. In more than 1,600 minor league appearances, he has hit .295/.366/.474 with 42 home runs and 201 RBIs, and in 28 games with the Diamondbacks last season, Fletcher hit .301/.350/.441 with a pair of home runs and 14 RBIs. The younger brother of Atlanta utilityman David Fletcher, the left-handed hitter will compete for right-field at-bats, with All-StarLuis Robert center and Andrew Benintendi in left.

Arizona traded from a position of strength, with All-Star Corbin Carroll, Yuli Gurriel, Alek Thomas, Jake McCarthy and the recently signed Joc Pederson all outfielders. Mena, 21, throws a hard curveball, a low-to-mid-90s fastball and will provide upper-level rotation depth after striking out 156 in 133.2 innings between Double A and Triple A last season.

Under new general manager Chris Getz, the White Sox have been aggressive in turning over their roster after dealing a handful of veterans at the trade deadline last year. Their biggest move came early, sending left-handed reliever Aaron Bummer to Atlanta for a five-player package, and they also acquired catcher Max Stassi in a separate trade with the Braves.