The White Sox are acquiring reliever Gregory Santos from the Giants, reports Robert Murray of FanSided. Santos was recently designated for assignment by the Giants. The White Sox have since announced the deal, with minor league right-hander Kade McClure going the other way.
Santos, 23, began his career in the Red Sox organization but came to the Giants in the 2017 deadline deal that sent Eduardo Núñez to Boston. The Giants were impressed enough with his development to give him a 40-man roster spot ahead of the 2020 Rule 5 draft. In 2021, Santos made a brief MLB debut but was handed an 80-game suspension in June after testing positive for Stanozolol, a banned performance-enhancing drug.
In 2022, Santos served as optional depth, throwing just 3 2/3 innings in the big leagues. In 33 Triple-A innings, he posted a 4.91 ERA with strong strikeout rate and ground ball rates of 23% and 51.7%, respectively. However, control was an issue with Santos walking 13.5% of batters faced, something that has been a persistent problem in recent years. He has a 16.7% walk rate in his brief MLB tenure as well.
Despite those control issues, the White Sox are likely interested in the power of his arm, as his fastball averaged at 98.8 mph in his brief showing this year. He’s also still quite young and has one option year remaining, allowing him to serve as depth in the minor leagues.
McClure, 27 in February, was a sixth round selection of the White Sox in 2017. He worked his way up the minors as a starting pitcher, posting decent enough results for Baseball America to deem him the #20 White Sox prospect going into 2021. Unfortunately, he reached Triple-A that year and struggled by posting a 6.81 ERA. In 2022, the Sox shifted him to the bullpen, as he made just five starts and 39 relief appearances. His 4.97 ERA in Triple-A this year still isn’t great, but he did have solid peripherals with a 24.8% strikeout rate, 7.2% walk rate and 39% ground ball rate.