Submitted by Dave Cokin on Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 12:00 AM
Another day at the Winter Meetings, and another blockbuster deal. Baseball fans have to be loving the action taking place off the field. The Red Sox/White Sox swap featuring Chris Sale will end up being the headliner of the week. But there was nothing under the radar about the Wednesday trade between the Nationals and those very busy White Sox. The White Sox have transformed their organization in the space of roughly 24 hours with these two big deals. The farm system, which was not good at all, is suddenly the picture of good health.
They’re pretty likely to be close to awful in 2017, but the future is looking much brighter as this concerted effort to rebuild the right way takes place. The Wednesday trade saw the Chisox send outfielder Adam Eaton to the Nationals in return for three pitching prospects. Lucas Giolito is considered the prize catch among that trio, but Reynaldo Lopez is intriguing and Dane Dunning was the 29th overall selection in the most recent draft. The overall reaction among the masses is that Nats GM Mike Rizzo gave up too much to land Eaton.
I’ll have to admit that was my initial reaction as well, even though I’m almost certainly not quite as sold on Giolito as most prospect followers. Don’t misunderstand, I think Giolito is going to be a productive big league pitcher, but I do not think he’s going to be an ace. More likely, I see him as a decent mid-rotation guy. This assessment is not based on his rude, albeit quite brief, introduction to big league hitters. Giolito was really bad in his short maiden voyage. But I’m not concluding much off that, as many eventual stars have struggled when first arriving in The Show. My view is based more on reports from his high minor league showings. They weren’t bad, but they also weren’t dominant and the Giolito repertoire is still in need of much more polishing at this point. So while I’m not suggesting that Giolito is more hype than substance long term, I’ll call myself a bit skeptical at this juncture.
As for Adam Eaton, he’s better than most people think. Ideally, he’s better suited to playing right field than patrolling center field. But he’ll be in CF for Washington, as there’s this Bryce Harper guy who is locked in as the RF. Eaton should be a definite asset to the Washington offense. He’s put up some rock solid numbers the last couple of seasons with the White Sox and I believe he could really flourish hitting second for the Nationals. It pays to be flexible and not get locked in with an immediate reaction on trades. That’s the case for me with this deal. My original inclination was that it was a slam dunk winner for the Pale Hose and that Rizzo had overpaid for Eaton.
Upon further examination, I’m actually starting to like this deal for Washington, while also still thinking it’s a good fit for what the White Sox are trying to accomplish. I’m still mulling over my college bowl playlist for the one I’ll give top billing to as Bowl Game of the Year. Once that decision is made, the play will be posted here, free of charge.
Long Beach State managed to cover the number in its win over Pepperdine, in spite of the fact they blew a good portion of what was a huge lead inside the 4:00 minute mark and actually needed the last two points to get the money. I have no explanation as to why my end game miseries continue to be an absolute plague. At least this melt didn’t prove costly.