If you were wondering when Hot Stove SZN would start to heat up, the Chicago White Sox lit a spark on Thursday night.
Chicago got together with the Atlanta Braves to pull off a six-player trade that sees the White Sox receive five players in exchange for one of their best relievers. Aaron Bummer is headed to Atlanta in the deal, and it marked the first big trade of the offseason thus far.
It’s not a blockbuster by any means, but it does heavily impact a Twins rival in a number of different ways that fans might be wondering about in the aftermath.
Here’s a full breakdown of players who switched teams as part of the lopsided deal:
The Sox also received minor leaguer Riley Gowens, who is the only player it received that isn’t on the 40-man roster. Soroka is the biggest name, but Chicago landing two starters is an interesting way for a rebuilding team to start its offseason.
How does Braves-Guardians trade impact Twins?
With notable names moving to the South Side as part of the deal, one question Twins fans might have is how it impacts things moving forward. Soroka is still in his mid-20s and is by far the biggest name coming back in the deal, but it might not be as massive as it seems.
He’s a name that was on a few different radars as a potential Twins target this offseason, but he’ll be joining the AL Central wearing another uniform. While Soroka is a former first-round pick for the Braves, the White Sox are essentially getting a bunch of lottery tickets in exchange for a guy who wasn’t going to do them much good in a year where the team isn’t expected to be a contender.
The same strategy goes for the Braves. It was a trade that helped clear a ton of roster space and dumped some guys who weren’t in the long-term plans for a reliever who could give the bullpen a boost. Bummer had his struggles in 2023, but when he was on his game he was electric.
Another potential reason this trade is of interest to Twins fans is that the Braves might be a future trade partner. Max Kepler is being shopped this winter and he makes a lot of sense in Atlanta’s lineup. We’ve seen the return for Bummer, which might set the floor for what Kepler’s price would be for the Braves.
If Minnesota trades him, though, they’ll need a lot more than a bunch of lottery tickets in return.
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