Chicago White Sox: Adam Eaton could return in upcoming offseason

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Chicago White Sox could find themselves in position to have a reunion with one of their former top players in the upcoming offseason.

The Chicago White Sox could very well look to fill their long term question at the right field position this upcoming offseason when Mookie Betts is a free agent, assuming Nomar Mazara doesn’t impress in 2020.

However, the issue will likely be that there will be many teams bidding for Betts, and prying him from the Los Angeles Dodgers is going to be a tall order for any team attempting to.

If Mazara is not getting the job done, though, signing a right fielder this upcoming offseason will turn from a luxury, in the case of Betts, to a need.

I already highlighted how there is a pretty legitimate possibility that Nicholas Castellanos could call the South Side his home at some point in the near future.

However, there is another option that could emerge next offseason that could make just as much, if not more sense in Adam Eaton.

Yes, that Adam Eaton, the one who brought the Chicago White Sox Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning.

Now, the Washington Nationals certainly won’t ever regret that deal due to the fact that Eaton played a role in helping them win the 2019 World Series against the Houston Astros.

However, Eaton hasn’t exactly been phenomenal in his time with the team, having only played over 100 games one time in his three years in the nation’s capital.

Over his first two years there, Eaton played in a total of 118 games with a strained left knee and bone bruise on his left ankle taking him out of commission for the majority of the time.

When he was healthy, though, the Nationals did remember why they acquired him, as he registered a 2.4 fWAR in that span while registering a 122 wRC+ in his second season with the team.

Eaton finally stayed healthy in 2019, but his production took a dip as he had a .279/.365/.428 slash line with 15 home runs, 49 RBI, 15 stolen bases, and a 107 wRC+ over 151 games.

While those numbers are still solid, it was not what the Nationals were likely hoping to get out of him once he finally was healthy for a full season.

If that production continues or even worsens, the Chicago White Sox could get their chance at bringing him back.

As MLB Trade Rumors notes, the 31-year-old has a $10.5 million club option after this season that includes a $1.5 million buyout.

That salary isn’t too much for someone like Eaton if his 2019 season proves to be the quality they should expect from him going forward.

However, the Nationals do have a lot of money issues long term with contracts given to Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin eating up a large chunk of their payroll.

On top of that, they have a financial dispute over the rights of MASN, a network they currently share with the Baltimore Orioles as detailed by Todd Karpovich of Forbes.

That dispute could influence the team to balk at keeping players who are just average or slightly above that level in favor of younger and cheaper players, especially since they already got their championship season.

If the Nationals decline Eaton’s option, the Chicago White Sox could look to pursue him as a fallback option if they fail to sign Betts.

Eaton has already proven his ability to play in Chicago, having registered a 13.5 fWAR over three seasons with the club.

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If the Chicago White Sox are interested in bringing Eaton back, he could very well be available and fall right into their laps this upcoming offseason.