Eaton agreed to a one-year deal that guarantees him $8 million and fills Chicago’s hole in right field, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the move has not been announced. Eaton’s salary for next season is $7 million. The White Sox hold an $8.5 million option for 2022, with a $1 million buyout.
The signing of Eaton comes one day after the White Sox agreed to acquire Lynn from Texas for pitchers Dane Dunning and Avery Weems. That trade was announced on Tuesday.
Eaton played for Chicago from 2014-2016. He was dealt to the Washington Nationals at the 2017 winter meetings for current ace Lucas Giolito, Dunning and pitcher Reynaldo Lopez. That trade happened a day after the White Sox sent former ace Chris Sale to Boston for infielder Yoan Moncada and pitcher Michael Kopech, launching a rebuild that helped vault them to the playoffs last season for the first time since 2008. Chicago finished second in the AL Central at 35-25.
Eaton spent four years with Washington and helped the Nationals win the World Series in 2019. They declined their option on him after he hit .226 in 41 games last season.
Eaton replaces Nomar Mazara, who struggled last season after being acquired from Texas. Eaton figures to play alongside Gold Glove centre fielder Luis Robert, with slugger Eloy Jimenez in left and Adam Engel likely the fourth outfielder.
Lynn is reuniting in Chicago with new manager Tony La Russa. Lynn spent his rookie season with the 2011 World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, who beat the Rangers in seven games. That was La Russa’s last season as a manager before the White Sox hired him this off-season.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Lynn was 22-14 in 46 starts the past two seasons for the Rangers, with 335 strikeouts over 292 1/3 innings. The right-hander has an $8 million salary in 2021, the final season of a $30 million, three-year contract he signed with Texas two winters ago.