The White Sox rebuild is now in full swing. The White Sox has traded Adam Eaton to the Nationals for RHPs Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning.
Eaton leaves the team after his third season here. He joined the organization in a three way trade that sent Hector Santiago to the Angels and netted Eaton from the Diamondbacks. Over his time with the Sox, he racked up two triples titles and was a contender for the Gold Glove in right last season after an amazing season there defensively.
Lucas Giolito is the #2 or #3 prospect in baseball right now depending on who you ask. The Nationals drafted Giolito in 2012 in the first round, three picks after Courtney Hawkins. He’s also consistently been a top 100 prospect since before the 2013 season. This was even with Tommy John surgery which limited his first minor league season to a single start. Last season he split time between AA, AAA, and the majors (with a side trek to low-A to prevent a long flight it seems). Although he was stellar in the minors, he struggled in the majors mainly due to walking 16 batters in 21⅓ innings. He had a 6.75 ERA and 8.21 FIP for that Nationals.
Giolito threw his mid-90’s fastball a lot for the Nationals last season, just under 70% of the time. He essentially only has a change and curve with a couple tries each with a sinker and slider.
Reynaldo Lopez was the Nationals #3 prospect and came into MLB.coms rankings at #38. Like Giolito, he also split time between AA, AAA, and the majors for the Nationals. He had some control issues in Washington, walking 22 in 44 innings. He also struck out 42 batters for a 4.91 ERA and 3.92 FIP. This uneven level of results isn’t unexpected for a rookie pitcher, but it looks like his Aug. 18th start against Atlanta is something to checkout on MLB.tv. Over seven innings, four hits, two runs with one earned, walking two, and striking out eleven.
Like Giolito, he only throws a four-seam fastball, curve, and change. His fastball comes in a little faster, averaging about 97 mph and topping out just over 100 mph in some late season appearances out of the Nationals’ bullpen.
Dane Dunning was the Nationals first round pick last June out of Florida and was their #6 prospect. He’s also got a mid-90s fastball, but his changeup is a little more advanced than his breaking pitches so he’ll need some polishing next season but easily projects as an average starter at least.
After updates on MLB.com, Giolito, Lopez, and Dunning become the #2, #4, and #10 prospects for the Sox respectively. Charlie Tilson, yesterday morning’s #5 prospect, is now #11. The White Sox now have six top 100 prospects.
Although Giolito and Lopez both spent some time on the Nationals last season, don’t be surprised if they start at Charlotte to work on some additional secondary pitches. They are far from the typical White Sox pitching repertoire so expect some rocky outings next spring from both of them. Dunning was a first rounder last season, so Winston-Salem seems like an appropriate place for him to land to start next season while working on his breaking stuff.
With this trade, the White Sox 40-man roster goes up to 39 with the addition of Lopez and Giolito. The Winter Meetings end tomorrow morning with the Rule 5 draft.