Is this the first of many moves for White Sox?

November 17th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Scott Merkin’s White Sox Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

CHICAGO -- I walked into the Chicago Theatre at 7:40 p.m. CT on Thursday and quickly realized the Trevor Noah comedy show beginning in 20 minutes was one where they locked your cellphone in a pouch.

“Let’s hope the White Sox don’t make a trade in the next two hours,” I said to my friend as we walked through security.

“They aren’t going to make a trade now, this late on a Thursday night,” she replied. I’m actually paraphrasing her response, as I didn’t write it down.

As we sat through the true hilarity of Noah and his equally funny opening act, I felt my phone vibrate three or four times through the pouch. It gave me pause for thought, but I agreed with my friend’s point of view: Nothing was going to happen at this time of night.

In reality, it wasn’t until we arrived at a local establishment for a few drinks following the show when the White Sox trade with the Braves, marking Chris Getz’s first trade as a general manager, was announced. I was going to lead my Friday newsletter with a take on Oscar Colás. I also was going to write about Jordan Leasure developing more of a complete repertoire during his time with the White Sox and in the Arizona Fall League. Look for those items post-Thanksgiving or in December.

Instead, I’m focused on the 5-for-1 deal that sent veteran southpaw Aaron Bummer to the National League East champs. Michael Soroka and Jared Shuster will move into the White Sox starting rotation, while Nicky Lopez brings his top-notch defense and strong clubhouse presence to the middle infield.

Lopez is a native of Naperville, Ill., for those very few of you who never heard this factoid during one of the White Sox-Royals broadcasts. Colson Montgomery, the team’s No. 1 prospect and No. 17 prospect overall, per MLB Pipeline, probably won’t break camp with the White Sox, but it won’t take him long to reach prime time and join Lopez.

Near the end of this forgettable 2023 White Sox season, I wrote a story mentioning some of the things being said around that time sounded like a move toward another rebuild beginning in ‘24. I was quickly corrected, and I understand rebuild connotes more of a total and multiyear teardown. A full rebuild doesn’t seem to be the plan.

Getz’s next few moves, though, should present a better idea of the team’s immediate direction. Are they looking for stop-gap free agents, longer term possibilities or a combination of both? Will staff-ace Dylan Cease or designated hitter Eloy Jiménez be next on the trade block? As Getz did say, nobody is untouchable.

Luckily, I have no comedy shows or Eagles concerts coming up, although I do have vacation in mid-December. I’ll be ready either way, which you have to be during the Hot Stove months.