Did the Washington Nationals beat the Chicago White Sox in the Adam Eaton deal?

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago White Sox started their rebuild in the winter of 2016 with two major moves.

They traded Chris Sale to Boston for Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech. The other major trade that year was when the Sox sent outfielder Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals.

The Sox got a nice return for Eaton in pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning. It was a high price to pay for a solid fielding outfielder. He was on a team-friendly contract and a slash line of .284/.362/.428 in 2016, but Eaton was not well-liked in the White Sox clubhouse.

Eaton also only played 23 games in 2017 and 95 in 2018. Here is the thing, Eaton came back in 2019 and helped the Nationals win the World Series. His slash line was .279/.365/.428 that season.

On the other hand, the White Sox got one playoff win from Lucas Giolito. Giolito went from being the worst pitcher in baseball to the team ace. Then he struggled toward the end of his time with the White Sox.

The franchise could never figure out how to use Reynaldo Lopez. He struggled as a starter, but he was solid as a reliever.

The Sox used Dane Dunning to get Lance Lynn from the Texas Rangers in the hopes he would be the veteran pitcher that put the team over the top.

Lynn was strong in 2021, hurt in 2022, and traded in 2023. Dunning just won a World Series with the Rangers. The Nationals got a World Series title out of the deal. The Sox had to flip Giolito and Lopez to the Los Angeles Angels and Lynn to the Los Angeles Dodgers so the deal with the Eaton could have some legs.

The White Sox got Edgar Quero for Giolito and Lopez. He projects as the catcher of the future for the organization. The Sox got Nick Nastrini and Jordan Leasure for Lynn. Nastrini projects to be a future rotation piece and Leasure is trending toward being the team's closer of the future.

The Sox appeared to be the winner when the trade first happened. In the long run, the Nationals won out but the White Sox found a way to mitigate the defeat.