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Outfielder Adam Eaton returns to White Sox on one-year deal

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WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA – MARCH 12: Adam Eaton #2 of the Washington Nationals at bat against the New York Yankees during a Grapefruit League spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of The Palm Beaches on March 12, 2020 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on a one-year, $8-million contract with outfielder Adam Eaton, which includes a club option for 2022. Under terms of the agreement, Eaton will receive $7 million in 2021, while the White Sox hold an $8.5-million option for 2022 with a $1-million buyout.

Eaton, 32, hit .226/.285/.384 (36-159) with 11 doubles, four home runs, 17 RBI and 22 runs scored in 41 games last season, his fourth with Washington. He was a member of the 2019 Nationals club that won the World Series, defeating Houston in seven games. Eaton hit .320 (8-25) with two home runs and six RBI in the 2019 Fall Classic, including driving in three runs in pivotal wins in Games 6 and 7.

“Knowing Adam well from his previous three seasons with us — including his work ethic and aggressive style, his offensive and defensive profiles, plus his recent championship experience — we believe he is a good fit on this White Sox roster,” said Rick Hahn, White Sox senior vice president/general manager. “The baseball world often comes full circle, and we are excited to welcome Adam back to play alongside some teammates we acquired thanks in large part to his previous contributions to our club.”

Eaton, 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, was acquired by Washington from the White Sox on December 7, 2016 in exchange for right-handed pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo López and Dane Dunning. He appeared in 433 games with Chicago from 2014-16, hitting .290/.362/.422 (497-1,715) with 83 doubles, 28 triples, 29 home runs, 150 RBI, 164 walks, 47 stolen bases and 265 runs scored. Eaton’s nine leadoff homers with the Sox are tied for the second-most in franchise history behind only Ray Durham (20). He was acquired by the White Sox from Arizona in exchange for outfielder Brandon Jacobs and left-hander Héctor Santiago on December 10, 2013.

Eaton is a career .282/.360/.775 hitter (899-3,185) with 157 doubles, 44 triples, 60 home runs, 84 steals and 528 runs scored in 831 games over nine major-league seasons with the Diamondbacks (2012-13), White Sox (2014-16) and Nationals (2017-20). He has appeared in 17 career postseason games (all with Washington in 2019), hitting .246 (15-61) with two doubles, one triple, two homers and 10 RBI. Eaton was a finalist for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 2016 (right field) and 2014 (center field).

Eaton originally was selected by Arizona in the 19th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Miami (Ohio) University. The White Sox 40-man roster is at 39.

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