CHICAGO (CBS) — The White Sox reportedly are reuniting with free agent outfielder Adam Eaton, signing him to a one-year $7 million deal, almost four years to the day they traded Eaton to the Washington Nationals.
The deal includes a second-year team option for $8.5 million, and is pending a physical, according to Chuck Garfien of NBC Sports Chicago. The plan is for Eaton to become Chicago’s everyday right fielder, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal adds.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Record Warmth Possible Next 2 Days
Eaton, 32, has spent the last four seasons with the Washington Nationals and helped the franchise win its first World Series title in 2019. Prior to that, he had a three-year stint with the White Sox.
CBS Sports ranked Eaton as the 25th-best free agent available this winter. Here’s what CBS Sports writer R.J. Anderson had to say about the veteran outfielder:
The Nationals declined their $10.5 million option on Eaton, making him a free agent an offseason earlier than anticipated. While he’s coming off a replacement-level season, it’s worth bearing in mind that it was only 41 games. Prior to 2020, he’d hit at least .270 and had reached base at least 36 percent of the time in six consecutive seasons. It’s fair to reason that Eaton’s injury history may have hastened a quicker decline than expected, but he’s going to get an opportunity to redeem himself with someone, likely as a most-days starter.
Eaton didn’t put up big numbers in the abbreviated 2020 campaign, hitting .226/.285/.384 across 176 plate appearances. He then missed the final two weeks of the season with a fractured left index finger. Eaton’s first half with Washington was derailed with injuries, but he managed to stay relatively healthy over the past two seasons. The White Sox are obviously hoping for a bounce-back season from Eaton as Chicago’s everyday right fielder. For 2021, it appears it’ll be Eaton will be in right, Luis Robert in center and Eloy Jimenez in left for the White Sox.READ MORE: Illinois Department Of Employment Security Admits To Monthlong Callback Wait Times; State Rep. Says Methods Must Change
Chicago traded Eaton to Washington in December 2016 for Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning. The four-player trade was part of the massive rebuild the White Sox started four years ago, and that deal came shortly after the White Sox shipped off Chris Sale to the Red Sox.
Earlier this week, the club acquired right-handed starter Lance Lynn in a trade with the Texas Rangers. Dunning is reportedly heading to the Rangers as part of the deal. Lynn will join Giolito and former Cy Young-winning lefty Dallas Keuchel alongside Dylan Cease and possibly Michael Kopech in Chicago’s rotation.
The White Sox are not too far off from becoming a true contender. The club made the expanded playoffs this past October, snapping a 12-year postseason drought, before falling in the American League Wild Card Series (2-1) to the Oakland Athletics.The United Center COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Site: An Inside Look
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