Back in December, the White Sox signed outfielder Adam Eaton to a one-year, $8 million deal in a bit of a feel-good reunion. Said reunion has now ended unceremoniously, as the White Sox designated Eaton for assignment on Wednesday.
Eaton debuted in the majors with the Diamondbacks in 2013 but was sent to the White Sox as part of the three-way trade that sent Mark Trumbo to Arizona and the late Tyler Skaggs to the Angels. Eaton then played three years for the White Sox before being traded to the Nationals for Lucas Giolito, Dane Dunning and Reynaldo López as part of a Sox rebuild.
Eaton then spent four seasons with the Nationals, including 2019, when they won the World Series. His tenure ended after the abbreviated 2020 season, in which he hit just .226/.285/.384 (82 OPS+) and was good for negative-0.6 WAR.
The rough stretch extended into 2021 for Eaton with the White Sox. He recently returned from a hamstring injury and is hitting .201/.298/.344 (78 OPS+). He's spent time in both left field and right field.
Going from hitting toward the top of the order on a champion in 2019 to designated for assignment in this situation is a pretty far fall in a short time for Eaton.
Yes, the White Sox are in first place by a large margin, but they have actually had terrible fortune this season with position-player health. Left fielder Eloy Jiménez suffered a torn pec late in spring training and still isn't back. Center fielder Luis Robert tore his hip flexor in early May. Second baseman Nick Madrigal suffered a serious hamstring injury last month and catcher Yasmani Grandal tore a knee tendon this week.
David Samson discussed how the White Sox are staying afloat on Wednesday's Nothing Personal with David Samson. Listen below:
That the White Sox still can't use Eaton in light of all this is tough news for the veteran.
Until Jiménez and Robert are ready to return, the White Sox have Andrew Vaughn (LF), Adam Engel (CF), Brian Goodwin and Billy Hamilton as outfielders with the likes of Gavin Sheets and Jake Burger still available for the DH spot.