Well, the buzz from the Lance Lynn trade — mostly positive, all told — burned off by midday Tuesday.
White Sox in agreement with free agent outfielder Adam Eaton, source tells @NBCSChicago. It's a 1-year, $7 million deal with a second year team option for $8.5 million.— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) December 8, 2020
If we didn’t know the White Sox so well, we could reasonably sit back and say don’t be hasty, there could be more to come.
But we know the White Sox well. With Leury García and Adam Engel on the roster, and “the three kids” in the minors, and, hell, Andrew Vaughn getting RF reps in Charlotte or something, yep, this is it for outfield acquisitions this offseason.
A clever move, say, for Anthony Santander, pushing unusable assets out the door to a rebuilding team and getting an ascending star, is not in the books.
Nope, it’s Adam Eaton, who just turned 32, and put up -0.9 bWAR in the truncated 2020.
To be fair, this is a better move than Nomar Mazara last offseason; even with a horrible 2020, Eaton has basically put up the same slash, with the same trends, as he did in Chicago.
Since being traded for Lucas Giolito, Dane Dunning and Reynaldo López at the absolute peak (6.6 bWAR) of his career, Eaton has played basically two full seasons’ worth of games. Eaton’s Nats slash (.279/.365/.419) mirrored that of his White Sox (.290/.363./.422). His overall value, however, has plummeted between injury trouble (just one injury-free season of four in Washington) and weakness with the glove (-3.3 defensive bWAR).
Eaton, given no other options on the free agent market, isn’t the worst outcome. But his presence ensures that right field — even if he is platooning with Engel — will be a below-average hole for Chicago for yet another season.
Does Rick Hahn have some advanced projections for Micker Adolfo none of us are aware of?
And there’s the other side of the coin — Adam Eaton is a jackass.
Yeah, there’s the grindy part of his assholery, the part that new manager Tony La Russa probably measures in “Ecksteins” on his notecards, continuing in the long White Sox tradition of A.J. Pierzynski, Tony Phillips, et. al.
Then there’s this sort of clownery:
Adam Eaton just hung up on Carmen and Jurko on @ESPN1000 after they asked him if Tony La Russa would have trouble relating to younger players.— Sox Takes (@sox_takes) December 8, 2020
Eaton very famously sided with ... Drake LaRoche ... when controversy over the child’s constant presence in the spring training locker room was questioned by veterans like Jimmy Rollins. It precipitated Adam LaRoche running out on his contract (good) and Eaton doubling-down on Drake by praising the child’s “leadership” (not good ... again, we’re talking about a 14-year-old in a major league clubhouse).
While it was the chance to sell high and reap a fortune that precipitated Hahn dealing Eaton to Washington after the tumultuous 2016 season, Eaton’s utter idiocy that spring was at least a small factor in the move.
Based on the tweet above and common sense, it’s doubtful that much has changed now that Eaton returns to Chicago, wearing a World Series ring.
At least someone may agree: