The Atlanta Braves traded right-handed pitcher Michael Soroka, lefty Jared Shuster, shortstop and second base prospect Braden Shewmake and veteran utility infielder Nicky Lopez to the Chicago White Sox for lefty reliever Aaron Bummer. Bummer had a 6.79 ERA in 61 appearances last season but a 3.58 FIP and a lot of missed bats – 78 strikeouts with 36 walks in 58 1/3 innings, or 12 strikeouts per nine innings.
The Atlanta #Braves tonight acquired LHP Aaron Bummer from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for RHP Michael Soroka, LHP Jared Shuster, INF Nicky Lopez, INF Braden Shewmake and minor-league RHP Riley Gowens: pic.twitter.com/VHlIEpk56I
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 17, 2023
Bummer, 30, is a year from free agency and had a 3.14 ERA in 94 appearances during the 2021-2022 seasons. He finished with 105 strikeouts and 39 walks in 83 appearances in that span and only five homers allowed. He’s held left-handed hitters to a career .199 average, .527 OPS and three homers with 118 strikeouts in 426 plate appearances over seven seasons with the White Sox.
Soroka, a former top prospect who was an All-Star as a rookie in 2019, missed most of three seasons recovering from a twice-torn Achilles and other injuries, and had a 6.40 ERA in seven games (six starts) for the Braves last season and a 3.41 ERA in 17 starts in Triple A. He was out of options and Atlanta would’ve faced a non-tender decision with him Friday.
Shuster, 25, was a Braves first-round draft pick in 2020 who made his MLB debut last season and posted a 5.81 ERA in 11 starts, with 30 strikeouts and 26 walks in 52 3/3 innings. He had been surpassed by several younger, harder-throwing Braves pitchers and pitching prospects.
Shewmake, who’ll be 26 on Sunday, was a first-round Braves draft pick in 2019 whose development stalled last season in Triple A. He competed along with Vaughn Grissom for the Opening Day shortstop job last spring, but both lost out to veteran Orlando Arcia, who went on to make the NL All-Star team.
While Grissom had an outstanding season at Triple-A Gwinnett sharing shortstop and second-base duties with him, Shewmake hit just .234 with a .299 OBP and .706 OPS in 122 games at Gwinnett and looked nervous and overmatched in two games during a brief call-up with the Braves.
Lopez’s price tag in arbitration was expected to be about $4 million, so he was also a non-tender candidate after coming over from the Kansas City Royals in a trade-deadline deal and played well in limited duties for the Braves late last season.
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