White Sox add OFs Fletcher, DeLoach, RHP Berroa

February 4th, 2024

CHICAGO -- The White Sox entered Saturday -- just over one week away from the first workout for pitchers and catchers at Spring Training on Feb. 14 -- with exactly four outfielders on their 40-man roster.

They exited the day not only with greater depth but with new options in right field after acquiring outfielder in a trade with Seattle and outfielder in a deal with Arizona. The White Sox also added right-handed pitcher and a Competitive Balance B selection (No. 69 overall) in the 2024 Draft from the Mariners deal.

White Sox receive:
OF Dominic Fletcher
Diamondbacks receive: RHP Christian Mena (White Sox No. 10 prospect)

White Sox receive: RHP Prelander Berroa (Mariners’ No. 15 prospect), OF Zach DeLoach (No. 25 prospect), No. 69 overall pick in 2024 Draft
Mariners receive: RHP Gregory Santos

These additions certainly didn’t come cheap.

Gregory Santos, Chicago’s one-time closer who arguably was the team’s most dominant reliever with five saves and a 3.39 ERA with 66 strikeouts over 66 1/3 innings in ‘23, was sent to the Mariners. Minor Leaguer Cristian Mena moved to the Diamondbacks. The 21-year-old right-hander was on track to make his White Sox starting debut at some point in ‘24.

In the case of the Santos trade, it came down to being able to get multiple players for one, according to White Sox general manager Chris Getz.

“Gregory Santos, I anticipate he's going to perform well and have a great career, I do,” Getz said during a Saturday night Zoom. “To be able to get someone like Prelander Berroa, who's got similar attributes, along with Zach DeLoach, who we've been after for some time, and then the opportunity to get a Draft pick and add to our pool, that will positively affect, we hope, our Draft …

"Both short-term and long-term, we're able to check those boxes, or at least that's the hope. It was a hard decision. To trade a Gregory Santos is not easy. There's volatility with relievers, and to be able to add Berroa and DeLoach and the comp pick, we felt this was a sound baseball decision.”

DeLoach, 25, is a left-handed-hitting corner outfielder who checks in at 6 feet, 205 pounds. He slashed .286/.387/.481 with 30 doubles, two triples, 23 home runs, 88 RBIs, 90 runs scored and 83 walks over 138 games with Triple-A Tacoma in 2023 and is now the No. 21 White Sox prospect, per MLB Pipeline.

Fletcher, 26, hits and throws left-handed. At 5-foot-6, 185 pounds, the No. 16 White Sox prospect arrives to the organization with 28 games of big league experience as part of Arizona’s National League champs in ‘23. He slashed .301/.350/.441 in 93 at-bats with five doubles, one triple, two home runs, 14 RBIs and 10 runs scored.

The two join All-Star center fielder Luis Robert Jr., Andrew Benintendi, Oscar Colás and Gavin Sheets in the now extended outfield mix, aiding the defense as well, which has been a major offseason goal for Getz.

Both will have a chance in right field, along with right-handed-hitting veteran Kevin Pillar, who will be one of the team’s non-roster invitees on a Minor League deal.

“We’ll take a look at that in Spring Training with all of these options and move forward with what we feel is the best for our Major League club to begin the year,” Getz said. “Obviously, with both of those guys being left-handed, perhaps there’s an opportunity to find a right-handed-hitting outfielder to pair with them or throw into that mix. We are open-minded there.”

Berroa, 23, is now No. 18 among White Sox prospects, posting a 5-1 record and 2.89 ERA with Double-A Arkansas last year to go with 101 strikeouts in 65 1/3 innings. He put together a 1.69 ERA in 42 2/3 innings after being moved to the bullpen on May 10, and will be used by the White Sox as a reliever.

There’s a chance the right-hander, who struck out three and walked three over two scoreless appearances covering 1 2/3 innings for the Mariners in ‘23, could work in as the White Sox closer. That sort of decision will come as the season progresses, but despite giving up two valuable players, Getz has provided options and continues to look for ways to improve.

“All things considered, I feel pretty good about where we are at,” Getz said. “We are very close to Spring Training, but that does not mean we won’t continue to look at opportunities to make us better.”