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White Sox trade Cristian Mena to Diamondbacks for Dominic Fletcher

by Jordan Lazowski

Chris Getz has been busy this afternoon.

Not long after breaking the news that the White Sox traded Gregory Santos to the Mariners, Jeff Passan confirmed Daryl van Schouwen’s report that the White Sox have also traded RHP Cristian Mena to the Diamondbacks in exchange for outfielder Dominic Fletcher. In doing so, the White Sox have rebuilt their outfield depth pretty quickly with some young talent – and provided a much more intriguing battle in the outfield for starting RF.

Fletcher, 25, spent most of the season in Triple-A, hitting .291/.399/.500 in 334 plate appearances. However, he is old for the level, so it’s fair to question the longevity of those results. In 102 plate appearances in the big leagues last season, he hit .301/.350/.441, good for a 113 wRC+ – however, his .263 xwOBA signals strong regression possibilities for next season. He struck out 21.6% of the time last season in the majors and walked 6.9% of the time.

Where he does excel, however, and perhaps as no surprise with Chris Getz, is his defense. He posted +2 OAA in just 28 games last season between CF and RF.

Trading 20-year-old Cristian Mena was certainly an interesting decision for the White Sox, especially with how advanced he is currently. The right-hander struggled between Double-A and Triple-A in 2023, posting a 4.66 ERA in Double-A in 114 innings and a 5.94 ERA in Triple-A in just 19.2 innings – though, at just 20 years old, he was incredibly young for the levels he pitched at. Apparently, there were enough long-term concerns about Mena’s fastball to result in such a move at such a young age.

Unlike the Santos trade, this trade seems a little more questionable on the surface. However, it’s a clear situation of trusting the people on your staff in their evaluations. New Assistant GM Josh Barfield is very familiar with Fletcher from their time together in Arizona, while the White Sox have developed Mena to this point in his career and have a better understanding of his stuff and projectability than most clubs at this point.

This is a definite wait-and-see trade; however, it is clear that everywhere on the field will be strong defensively now for the White Sox.

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Featured Image: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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