I have to imagine that the scene of Rick talking to Jerry was much like the one in Reservoir Dogs where Nice Guy Eddie convinces Joe to add Vic Vega to the crew. “I got an idea. Just hear me out. I know you don’t like usin’ the boys on these jobs but Adam here – I mean, he’s only been nothin’ but good luck for us. The guy’s a fuckin’ rabbit’s foot, for cryin’ out loud.” Having only spent Hector Santiago and Brandon Jacobs to get Eaton, getting three solid seasons from him, and then flipping him for Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning, you could understand that sentiment. With that resume, much like Vic Vega, how could this go wrong?
What’s he been up to?
Unlike Vic, Adam Eaton has not been in prison, but rather he has been on a pretty damn good Nationals team. Well except for last year. However, Adam has been having a bit of an issue staying on the field. It wasn’t anything crazy where he needed his uniform cut off or anything, but nevertheless, he played less than 60% of the Nationals’ games over the past 4 years. In that time, he’s been, well, he’s been average. As we at FromThe108 have been doing, we’re combining 2019 and 2020 stats to get a recent view of performance. In that time he slashed .268/.348/.418 and he played passable outfield defense (slightly negative UZR and average arm).
The Nats felt that was not worth $10.5M and declined their option on him making a free agent in search of that much needed mortgage cash. Not long after, the Sox came calling and provided him with a $7M contract. Along with the $1.5M buy out from the Nats, he’s short about $2M of what he had hoped for in 2020. But as I am sure he’ll agree, that struggle is good, it makes people tougher, and you can certainly see it from the owner’s point of view.
What to expect?
I think the biggest question mark here is whether or not he’ll stay healthy. And the Sox absolutely should not expect that he will. There has to be a backup plan for Eaton as he has not stayed healthy consistently since his last stint on the south side. That said, when he is on the field, the best part of his game and where he’ll contribute the most to the Sox is getting on base. Expect him to get on around 35% of the time, which is much better than what we got from RF last year. He’ll play an okay RF with not a lot of mistakes, maybe double digit HR, and an occasional SB. Nothing too exciting, but also not terrible.
Why are people concerned?
Well, the word on the street is that he’s kind of, ya know
Yeah, that. Now when you have a guy like that coming into a clubhouse with a great culture lead by some young stars, you worry that he might disrupt that. But I assure you, Adam has no problem with young leaders. Doesn’t even matter how young. So I see this as a non-issue. And at the end of the day, you don’t have to fuck him, or hang out with him, or even like him. You will interact with Adam Eaton very little other than watching him play.
So what are we thinking?
Overall, you got a pretty average dude who could have a bit of a dead cat bounce and get on base a bunch and maybe hit for 10-15 HR. It’s not sexy and it’s probably not worth $7M, but with a team that has failed at bringing in the supporting cast for stars in the past, maybe we can use a little bit of league average. Even if he’s as much of a dick as your ole pal Chorizy-E.
Also, good luck to the national TV broadcasts not fucking up Eaton vs Engel.