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4 interesting additions as spring training approaches

General manager Chris Getz noticed potential free agent pitchers or managers were hesitant to come to the Chicago White Sox when he started talking to them at the start of the season. The reason for this was the team’s defense.

“That led me to be really proactive about improving that,” Getz said in a video conference call Monday about a defense that ranks 11th in the American League in 2023 with a .983 fielding percentage.

The Sox have two new catchers: Martín Maldonado and Max Stassi. In center field, the team traded Nicky Lopez and Braden Shewmake as part of a six-player deal that sent Aaron Bummer to the Atlanta Braves. The Sox also added veteran shortstop Paul DeJong. Dominic Fletcher and Zach DeLoach, both acquired via trade, are among the prospects in the right field.

“I wanted it to be an attractive place where shooters would want to shoot here,” Getz said.

From the infield to the outfield to the mound, we take a look at four intriguing additions as pitchers and catchers report for spring training in Arizona on Wednesday.

Erick Fedde

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Erick Fedde against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, September 30, 2022 in Washington. (Nick Wass/Associated Press)

The right-handed pitcher had an outstanding 2023 in the Korean Baseball Organization. Will that success translate to the big leagues?

Sox signed Fed to reach two-year, $15 million deal in early December After winning the Most Valuable Player award in 2023 while pitching for the NC Dinos in the KBO. He also won the Choi Dong-won Award (best pitcher) by going 20-6 with a 2.00 ERA, 209 strikeouts, 35 walks and a 0.95 WHIP. He led the KBO in wins, ERA and strikeouts, becoming the first foreign-born pitcher to win the Triple Crown.

“It was nice to regain that trust that someone hands you the baseball and expects six, seven innings and 100 pitches, and that fed my confidence and led to a resurgence of remembering who I was,” Fedde said in a Dec. 14 video. conference call.

Fedde, 30, spent six seasons (2017-22) with the Washington Nationals, going 21-33 with a 5.41 ERA and 352 strikeouts in 102 games (88 starts) before his year in the KBO.

Fedde, Michael Soroka and Jared Shuster (both were acquired as part of the Bummer deal) and Chris Flexen (signed to a one-year deal) are among the newcomers with major league starting experience.

“This is a place where I feel like I can get into the rotation and help the team get better and definitely be a part of rebuilding that rotation,” Fedde said.

John Brebbia

San Francisco Giants pitcher John Brebbia works out against the San Diego Padres in the first inning of a baseball game on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in San Francisco.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
San Francisco Giants pitcher John Brebbia practices against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in San Francisco. (Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

The right-hander showed his durability with the San Francisco Giants in 2022, leading the National League with 76 plate appearances.

Sox sign 33-year-old Brebbia One-year, $5.5 million deal with mutual option for 2025 season, In January. St. He has a 3.42 ERA, 47 holds and 321 strikeouts in 295 games (21 starts) over six major league seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals (2017-19) and Giants (2021-23).

“Brebbia has closed out games, been in middle relief, been an opener before,” Getz said Monday. “He had an injury last year and we believe that is behind him, so hopefully being able to get a full season of production from him will be exciting.”

Lefty Tim Hill, A one-year agreement was signed in DecemberIt gives the Sox another option out of the bullpen.

“We have a lot of quality arms beyond those two and what roles they play, whether it be starters or our starting group, time will tell, but there is some versatility and potential within the group,” Getz said.

Paul DeJong

San Francisco Giants shortstop Paul DeJong throws out TJ Friedl of the Cincinnati Reds to first base during the third inning of a baseball game in San Francisco on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023.  (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
San Francisco Giants shortstop Paul DeJong throws out TJ Friedl of the Cincinnati Reds at first base on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023, in San Francisco. (Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

DeJong and Lopez are steady defenders with ties to the area. DeJong graduated from Antioch High School and Lopez is from Naperville.

The connection played a role in DeJong signing a contract one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Sox in November.

“What drew me to the White Sox was just being from the Chicago area, growing up in Antioch,” DeJong said during a Nov. 29 video conference call. “I had a great opportunity to play in the major leagues with the White Sox, and that major league deal really helped me make the decision to come here. And my great-grandparents, who have family ties to the city, grew up on the South Side of Chicago.

“So there were a lot of great reasons to join the White Sox, and I’m very thankful for the opportunity.”

DeJong, 30, has a career slash line of .229/.299/.417 with 116 home runs and 344 RBIs in 729 games over seven major league seasons with the Cardinals (2017-23), Toronto Blue Jays (2023) and Giants. (2023). He was traded to the Blue Jays on August 1, released on August 21, signed with the Giants on August 23, and was released on September 21. St. He’s aiming for the consistency he had in St. Louis.

“Leaving St. Louis, a team I spent my entire 20s with, was part of my journey, and I learned a lot about myself after leaving St. Louis,” DeJong said. “Baseball is baseball. I’m excited to be a part of an organization where I get to start over with the Chicago White Sox and start my season, rather than jumping in the middle, which was a little difficult for me when I went to Toronto last year. and San Francisco.

“It will be great for me to be able to start from scratch with a team.”

Dominic Fletcher

Dominic Fletcher of the Arizona Diamondbacks will play at Philadelphia on Monday, May 22, 2023.  (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)
Dominic Fletcher of the Arizona Diamondbacks will play at Philadelphia on Monday, May 22, 2023. (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

The Sox had something Busy trading day on February 3, is sending reliever Gregory Santos to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for reliever Prelander Berroa, outfielder Zach DeLoach and a competitive balance B pick (No. 69 overall) in the 2024 draft. They also acquired Fletcher from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for minor league pitcher Cristian Mena.

Fletcher and DeLoach, both left-handed hitters, are among the opening options in right field, along with non-roster invitee Kevin Pillar and returner Gavin Sheets.

Fletcher, 26, is batting .301/.350/.441 with five doubles, one triple, two home runs and 14 RBIs in 28 games with the Diamondbacks in two appearances in 2023.

“I was lucky enough to go out there with a really good team last year,” Fletcher said during a video conference call on Friday. “I got to be around a lot of good players and learn from the guys around me. But most of all, seeing that it’s the same game and knowing that I can play well in the big leagues, I think it’s really good for me.”

Fletcher noted that his defense was strong. He’ll have the opportunity to showcase it all this spring.

“I went from trying to earn a spot on the team as probably the fourth or fifth outfielder (with Arizona) to having a chance to compete for a spot,” Fletcher said. “I’m going to come into this spring training and compete, do whatever I can to help this team win. So you know, I’m just here to compete and try to earn a spot.”

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