The Nats Pay A Steep Price For Eaton: The New CF Has A Team Friendly 5 Year Deal Which Is The Key To Salvage The Trade
For the majority of the last week we heard the Nationals were trying to land Andrew McCutchen in a trade, but they shocked the world on Wednesday by acquiring CF Adam Eaton from the White Sox in exchange for three RHP (Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning).
These three guys represent the club’s #1, #3 and #6 prospects. Giolito was ranked #3 overall and Lopez #38 by MLBPipeline.com
This seems like a lot for just one player – but you have to look at several factors here.
Mike Rizzo landed a player that just turned 28 a few years ago.. He is the leadoff guy the team has needed ever since the departure of Denard Span. This is so critical when you consider the Nats will likely only have Bryce Harper for the next 2 years.
With Trea Turner potentially hitting leadoff as well (didn’t mean to shortchange the sophomore player from hitting 1st in 2016 and maybe 2017), it will give the club 2 jackrabbits to hit 1 and 2 for the squad for the next 5 years.
Turner had a 3 Slash Line of .342/.370/..567 and belted 35 Extra Base Hits in just 73 Games his own self. Having these two players back to back should be a great move to table set for Murphy and Harper.
Wherever Dusty Baker hits the tandem it is clear this team is going to be incredible for offense..
Even more important is the $38.5 MIL only that Eaton will collect in player salary. His Average Annual Salary will just $7.4 MIL per year towards the cap for the Nationals.
This is incredible financial flexibility since Turner isn’t even eligible for Arbitration until 2020. This gives the freedom to Mike Rizzo to add a Closer to the Roster still, and potentially secure a better Catcher for depth as well.
Adam Eaton’s Salary
Both 2020 and 2021 are Team Options that can be bought out for $1.5 MIL
Having an everyday Centerfielder also frees us Turner to play Shortstop, and effectively relegate Danny Espinosa to a Super Utility role in the Infield.
This is more roster flexibility when a guy like Zimmermann wil probably miss some contest at 1B. This way the team can move Murphy to 1B and Espinosa to 2B – and they don’t lose much in production.
Eaton also gives the franchise a player beyond the grass past the time where Harper becomes a Free Agent after 2018. Jayson Werth is also playing in his last year of his contract.
The move also could spell the end of trading uber prospect Victor Robles. With an ETA of 2018 slated for Robles (although maybe 2019) may see a future Nats OF of Robles in CF, Eaton move to LF, and Taylor to RF.
Washington has an impressive winning window of 2 years here. I have to think that Rizzo will add a Reliever like Kenley Jansen, If anything that you could criticize Rizzo for is that he did not make sure that coming back in the deal was also for David Robertson too.
However if the dollars saved with the Eaton deal converts in Jansen, I will like this move a lot more.
This cements the favorite label the Nats have in the NL East for the next s campaigns. If Bryce Harper returns to 85% of his 2015 NL MVP year, this club is actually better than the Cubs for their lineup 1 – 6 in my view.
I think the club should go after Doug Fister on a one year deal, where he toted a 3.10 ERA for 2 seasons with the club.
Mike Rizzo has seen many Free Agents and trade subjects go by the team (with them finishing in 2nd for landing of services), so he may have overpaid on this one. I am willing to concede him the mulligan. If the Nats win a World Series, then this deal is worth it.
By Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner)
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Posted on December 8, 2016, in MLB Trades and tagged A.J cole, Adam Eaton, Andrew McCuthen, anthony rendon, ben revere, bryce harper, chicago white sox, Dane Dunning, daniel murphy, danny espinosa, david robertson, denard span, doug fister, dusty baker, jayson werth, Joe Ross Jr., kenley jansen, lucas giolito, matt capps, max scherzer, michael taylor, Mike Rizzo, Pittsburh Pirates, reynaldo lopez, ryan zimmermann, stephen strasburg, Steven Souza, washington nationals, Wilson Ramos. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.