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Tuesday, December 08, 2020

White Sox bringing free agent Adam Eaton back to fill right-field vacancy

Our Chuck Garfien reported Tuesday that the White Sox are reuniting with Adam Eaton, bringing the veteran outfielder back to the South Side on a one-year, free-agent deal worth $7 million. The deal comes with a club option for 2022.

It was Eaton who was dealt four years ago in the second of two trades that kickstarted the White Sox rebuilding process, the Washington Nationals sending a trio of pitching prospects — Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo López and Dane Dunning — to the South Side in exchange for the outfielder. Now, Eaton returns, with a World Series ring on his finger, as the White Sox shift from rebuilding into win-now mode after an ascendant 2020 campaign.

Though Eaton was plagued by injuries during his four seasons in Washington, he was mighty productive when healthy. All told, he slashed .279/.365/.419 as a National. In his lone fully healthy campaign in 2019, he posted a .792 OPS and hit a career-best 15 home runs, helping the Nationals to a World Series win. Eaton was very good in the postseason, reaching base at a .361 clip and starring in the World Series, where he had eight hits, including a pair of home runs, walked four times and drove in six runs.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 08, 2020 at 12:35 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: adam eaton, white sox

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   1. JJ1986 Posted: December 08, 2020 at 01:33 PM (#5993095)
Why did they let Adam Eaton's agent write this blurb?
   2. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: December 08, 2020 at 01:37 PM (#5993098)
IIRC, Eaton was pretty pro-Drake LaRoche, right? That doesn't mean it would be a problem to have him back - how many current players were even here for that (Abreu and...)? The Sox also are pretty happy with their return from that deal.
   3. asinwreck Posted: December 08, 2020 at 01:55 PM (#5993102)
Good. He can pay his mortgage now.
   4. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: December 08, 2020 at 02:13 PM (#5993114)
Did the other Adam Eaton become a GM yet?
   5. SoSH U at work Posted: December 08, 2020 at 02:22 PM (#5993117)
IIRC, Eaton was pretty pro-Drake LaRoche, right?


That's an understatment:

"We lost a LEADER in Drake" - Adam Eaton
   6. Walt Davis Posted: December 08, 2020 at 03:06 PM (#5993137)
Career-high 15 HRs? I'm pretty sure I could do that in today's game.**

2020 aside (which we're gonna have to say for a lot of players), he's been a very consistent hitter when healthy. From 2014-19, a 115 OPS+ with a low of 104 and a high of 122. And he was healthy in 2019-20 so miracles do happen. The defense apparently wasn't good in DC though so probably average at best. The Sox non-tendered Mazara -- can't blame them, but he would have been $4-5 M so this is costing them more money. Should be easily worth it if Eaton's healthy so that's not an issue just interesting that it's not a cost-cutting move per se.

** There is no way in ####### hell.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: December 08, 2020 at 04:32 PM (#5993181)
By the way, unlike the Chris Youngs and the Alex Gonzalezes, the Adam Eatons aren't close. This Adam at 18.4 WAR, the other at 2.2. Pretty sure I mentioned this the other day but the pitcher was way worse than I remember. I thought he was one of those 105-110 ERA+ guys who couldn't stay healthy. In fact he only touched 100 in his rookie year and ended up at a 84 ERA+.

Both Eatons involved in lopsided trades though. Pitcher Eaton and Akinori Otsuki (a good but old Japanese reliever) for Adrian Gonzalez and, whaddya know, pitcher Chris Young.
   8. Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: December 08, 2020 at 06:07 PM (#5993210)
Never quite lived up to his billing and also always seemed like kind of a dick, but he was great in the 2019 world series and flags fly forever. Plus his home run celebration with Howie was really fun. Godspeed.
   9. puck Posted: December 09, 2020 at 12:10 AM (#5993258)
Bad Adam Eaton's final game was memorable...Coors field game, 14 innings, 8 runs in the 14th. Giants scored 3 in the top of the 14th. The Rockies scored 5 in the bottom of the frame, with the first scoring on Eaton's based-loaded walk. The rest came in on a Ryan Spilborgh's walk off grand slam.
   10. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: December 09, 2020 at 09:29 AM (#5993287)
Bad Eaton was more memorable than the typical replacement level starter because he came with some expectations. 1st round pick (no. 11) in 1996. Good enough in the minors to be the no. 64 prospect by Baseball America in 2000. Good Eaton got up to BA no. 73 in 2013.
   11. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 09, 2020 at 10:05 AM (#5993294)
The Padres decidedly won the trade where they acquired Adam Eaton.

The Rangers decidedly lost the trade where they acquired Adam Eaton.

After his 5.12 ERA and finger injury in one year with the Rangers, Adam Eaton signed a free agent contract with the Phillies, for 3 years and $24 million. BTF reaction at the time.

This signing confused fans on an objective level; was seen as adding insult to injury after the Phillies had traded the good part of his career for one year of Andy Ashby; and only got worse.

April 4, 2007: Phillies debut. Gave up 8 runs to the Braves.
April 25, 2007: Gave up 7 runs to the Marlins, for an ERA of 7.71 in his first month with the team.
July 15, 2007: Pitcher of record in the Phillies' epochal 10,000th loss.
October 2007: Left off the Phillies' first postseason roster in 14 years. This after starting 30 games, as their 5th highest paid player. Two of their higher paid players were even worse and were also left off the postseason roster (Jon Lieber and Freddy Garcia), but they were injured. Eaton was a healthy scratch.

April 5-10, 2008: Gave up ONLY 3 runs each in two starts, giving him an ERA under 4 for the only time.
July 7-12, 2008: Gave up 8 runs each in two starts, giving him an ERA of 5.71.
July 26, 2008: Returns from the All-Star break in new role as reliever.
July 28, 2008: Optioned to the minors.
September 2008: Called up when rosters expanded. Did not pitch in September. Obviously left off the playoff roster again.
February 2009: Released with $8 million left on the contract.

I'm surprised he even has a positive WAR. Looks like over 150% of his WAR was in his first two seasons.
   12. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: December 09, 2020 at 12:07 PM (#5993325)
Why do people keep putting a guy who throws like Johnny Damon in RF?
   13. Walt Davis Posted: December 09, 2020 at 04:55 PM (#5993428)
Why do people keep putting a guy who throws like Johnny Damon in RF?

In this case because his employer has Eloy Jimenez lumbering around LF. In his previous position because his employer had Juan Soto lumbering around LF. And because the stats seem to agree that Mr. Eaton has become useless in CF but still useful with the bat so ...

Admittedly it's not clear whether you'd rather put the lumberer in RF if he has a good arm but seems to me teams almost always prefer the slowest guy in LF and have for a very long time. I was gonna mention Keith Moreland (former C) as an exception but then he originally played in RF because the Cubs had the terrible Gary Matthews in LF (faster than Moreland even at that age but the worst routes on FBs so effectively no range).
   14. Ron J Posted: December 09, 2020 at 05:40 PM (#5993439)
#13 Bill James wrote a little bit about this many years ago and it's always made sense to me. Basically there's a minimum speed for RF. You go to LF if you don't meet this regardless of the arm.
   15. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: December 09, 2020 at 08:26 PM (#5993463)
In this case because his employer has Eloy Jimenez lumbering around LF. In his previous position because his employer had Juan Soto lumbering around LF. And because the stats seem to agree that Mr. Eaton has become useless in CF but still useful with the bat so ...

Admittedly it's not clear whether you'd rather put the lumberer in RF if he has a good arm but seems to me teams almost always prefer the slowest guy in LF and have for a very long time. I was gonna mention Keith Moreland (former C) as an exception but then he originally played in RF because the Cubs had the terrible Gary Matthews in LF (faster than Moreland even at that age but the worst routes on FBs so effectively no range).
I don't disagree with any of this, and I guess it makes sense to deploy Eaton and Jimenez in this way once you have them both. But 48 hours ago, the Sox had a chance to simultaneously employ as regulars multiple MLB-caliber outfielders. It just seems that if you're going to putz around the margins with meh players (granted, on a meh deal) you could find a shoulder-shrug that fits better. Buying meh for the purpose of misdeploying it (in a meta sense) just strikes me oddly, and I'll admit that it might be kind of an aesthetic thing.
   16. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: December 10, 2020 at 08:16 PM (#5993657)
I guess having a right-field vacancy is a problem if you face a lefty-heavy lineup...

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