Wading through the murk of a trade that evolved throughout the day we end up with Hector Santiago heading to Anaheim and outfielder Adam Eaton leaving the Diamondbacks to join the White Sox. The 3-team deal, a new favorite template for Rick Hahn and co., also sends pitcher Tyler Skaggs to the Angels and Mark Trumbo to the Diamondbacks, as well as a player to be named later from Arizona and Chicago going to Anaheim.
Hopefully the White Sox leadoff man for years to come. (Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)
We can wish Hector Santiago luck in his new pitching friendly environment, but the main concern is where Adam Eaton fits into the Sox plan for the future. After a September call-up in 2012, Eaton was looking to be an everyday player for the Diamondbacks in 2013 before an elbow injury caused him to miss the first half of the season. Upon his return while splitting time mainly between center and left field Eaton put up a .252/.314/.360 line, well below the .375/.456/.523 minor league line he presented a year earlier. Rust, lingering effects of injury, and of course advanced competition made his 2013 a quiet one but if anything resembling his minor league numbers can be reclaimed the Southsiders have found their lead-off man.
The cost of Hector Santiago may seem high as he’s a league ready starter and under team control, but the perceived pitching depth was the only place the White Sox were going to be able to deal from and expect a significant return. Eaton is also under team control and for a year longer than Santiago which fills a hole in the lineup without shelling out obscene amounts of money for a Shin-Soo Choo.
Getting on base was a rather glaring issue for the Sox in 2013 and the Eaton acquisition is hoping to directly address that, but with Avisail Garcia written into RF for the foreseeable future one may find themselves asking if this spells doom for Dayan Viciedo or Alejandro De Aza. Both have questionable futures moving forward but both also have upside and value that can be worth hanging on to. It still remains to be seen whether or not the White Sox will have a chance to truly compete in the upcoming season, so they’re under no real pressure to figure this out immediately.