White Sox Trade Adam Eaton to Nationals for Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning

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Updated: December 7, 2016

The Nationals seemed to have moved on from Andrew McCutchen and instead acquired White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton. They paid a steep price for him as they gave up their #1, #3 and #6 prospects according to MLB to acquire the 28-year old outfielder. The news was first broke by Jon Heyman who somehow managed to misspell Eaton.

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Adam Eaton has been excellent since coming to the White Sox from Arizona and over the past few seasons he has been considered one of the best defensive outfielders in all of baseball. The Nationals are giving up a lot, but they do get five years of control. Adam Eaton is owed just $19.9MM over the next three seasons with two option years that could send the contract to $38.4MM which is an absolute steal in today’s market. He should slot into center between Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth which will allow Trea Turner to move back to shortstop. He is a huge upgrade over Ben Revere last season.

 

Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2014 25 CHW 123 538 486 76 146 26 10 1 .300 .362 .401 .763 120
2015 26 CHW 153 689 610 98 175 28 9 14 .287 .361 .431 .792 122
2016 27 CHW 157 706 619 91 176 29 9 14 .284 .362 .428 .790 119
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/7/2016.

 

 

For the White Sox, they get two highly regarded pitching prospects and the Nationals 2016 first round pick.

The big name here is Lucas Giolito who has been one of the most hyped prospects in the game and some people think he’s an ace in the making although there are some doubters out there. From Baseball America:

At 6-foot-6, 255 pounds Giolito is bigger than your average frontline ace, but he has that front-of-the-rotation potential.

However, it’s easy to find scouts who believe that Giolito is a little overhyped at this point. He’s supremely talented but his command, control and stuff waver more than most near-big league-ready prospects. And results throughout his pro career have not fully matched expectations.

That said, he should stick in the rotation and could be on the big league roster this season. Here’s what John Sickels’ 2016 Prospect Book had to say about him pre-season:

Right now his control is ahead of his command. He doesn’t walk the ballpark but he could use tighter location. Some still think he’ll wind up in relief but he’s made enough progress with his secondary pitches to remain in the rotation for now. Personally, I’m optimistic that the third pitch will get steadier. Depending on how aggressive the Nationals want to be, it is possible that Lopez could make a Luis Severino-like rapid advancement. Strong Grade B.

Finally, we have Dane Dunning the first round pick of the Nats in 2016. Let’s see what Prospect Junkies said about him earlier this year:

Dunning would serve as the Friday starter on most of the teams I’ve seen this Spring and should be given the opportunity to start as a professional. I view Dunning’s ceiling as a mid-rotation starter with a fairly high floor as an impact reliever.

What a haul.

When the White Sox traded Chris Sale to the Red Sox I said that if they ended up trading Jose Quintana that they “could end up with one of the very best farm systems in baseball in just a few weeks time.” At the time I didn’t even consider that trading Adam Eaton would get them a package this big. Considering that the Quintana trade could be going down soon, the White Sox may find themselves further ahead on this rebuild than anyone thought they would be.

Much like when the Red Sox traded for Chris Sale, this is a win now move for the Nationals that they might regret in a few years. Then again if they win the World Series… it might be worth it for them.

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