MLB TRADE RUMORS – The hevaily rumored three-team trade between the Angels, Diamondbacks and White Sox has been completed, a source tells Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Mark Trumbo and a pair of players to be named later will head to the Diamondbacks, Adam Eaton will join the White Sox and Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs are headed to the Angels (Twitter links).
The White Sox have stated a desire to get younger and to add left-handed bats to their lineup, and the acquisition of Eaton will do just that. Formerly one of baseball’s top prospects, the 25-year-old Eaton missed more than half of the 2013 season after opening the year on the DL with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his left (throwing) elbow.
In 380 career MLB plate apparances, Eaton is a .254/.332/.373 hitter with five homers and seven stolen bases. He’s batted .365/.441/.522 with eight homers and 38 steals in 602 career appearances at the Triple-A level. Prior to the 2013 season, Baseball America ranked Eaton as Arizona’s No. 4 prospect, noting that he’d made enough defensive strides to convince scouts that he is an everyday big league center fielder with double-digit home run pop, plus speed and a strong, accurate throwing arm.
This is hardly a blockbuster, but a huge step in the right direction for the White Sox. Hector Santiago is a very valuable pitcher who immediately makes any team he’s on better. He has started, closed, and pitched in both middle and long relief. He does have a start every now and then where he labors through 5 innings and 100 pitches, but he has great shit and when he’s on, he’s a very good 3rd of 4th starter in any rotation. The Sox have a ton of young arms in their staff already which made him expendable. Just about every Sox fan knew he was gonna be dealt this winter.
Now what about Adam Eaton? He has limited big league experience, but he just turned 25 last week. Looking at his stats since 2011, Eaton tore apart AA and AAA:
The Pacific Coast League is a notoriously friendly hitters’ league, but it’s worth noting that he also hit .302 for the AA Mobile Baybears of the Southern League too, which is better known as a pitchers’ league. He was hurt most of last year, so he didn’t register many plate appearances. BUT he’s a immediate upgrade because:
1. Alejandro De Aza is the worst leadoff hitter in baseball, and a defensive liability
2. He’s walks at high rate, about once every 9 plate appearances or so, and doesn’t strike out
3. He’s known as a great base runner, something that the ChiSox struggled with all last year (it was like watching little league)
We will have to see if his minor league success translates to the show, but Eaton is now the 2014 White Sox opening day starter in center field. De Aza is probably on his way out. With their last few moves dating back to last season, the White Sox have done a great job of aging down while acquiring big league ready talent. Their farm system still sucks, but when a team is making moves for players who can start the day they are acquired, who really gives a shit?
PS – I’m sick of Yankee fans thinking they can magically acquire Sale from the Sox. Such a Yankee train of thought. There’s a handful of players in all of MLB who would be worth trading Sale for, and the list pretty much starts and ends with Mike Trout.
UPDATE: Hahn just called his new acquisition a “dirtbag baseball player”, which is pretty much the biggest compliment you can give a baseball player
Hahn on Adam Eaton: "This is a dirtbag baseball player."
— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) December 10, 2013