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Elephant Rumblings: White Sox acquire Lance Lynn, sign Adam Eaton

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Good morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!

The Oakland A’s opened their 2020 postseason bracket against the Chicago White Sox. The Pale Hose had earned the No. 7 seed out of AL Central, in a breakout year for a young team that had suddenly been bolstered by several star veteran additions. They took a massive leap forward this year, and now that they’ve smelled some success they’re not letting off the gas.

The White Sox swung the biggest trade of the offseason so far on Monday, acquiring All-Star starting pitcher Lance Lynn from the Texas Rangers, first reported by Joel Sherman of the NY Post. In return, the Rangers received young starter Dane Dunning and a low-minors pitching prospect (lefty Avery Weems).

Chicago’s rotation was already strong, featuring Dallas Keuchel (5th in Cy Young voting this year) and Lucas Giolito (7th for Cy, and threw a no-hitter). Now it’s got a third star in Lynn, who finished 6th in Cy voting this year and 5th in 2019.

Granted, the upgrade wasn’t free. Dunning is a recent Top 100 prospect who made a strong debut in the majors this summer and still has six years of team control remaining, while Lynn is a one-year rental whose contract expires after the 2021 campaign. But if the Sox are going into win-now mode, then this move certainly helps that short-term goal.

For the A’s, this is a mixed bag. Chicago is a rising threat among AL contenders, and Oakland barely squeezed past them as it was this October. Now they look even tougher for next season. On the bright side, Lynn is out of the West division, which means the A’s will see far less of him during the regular season.

The White Sox struck again Tuesday morning, signing free agent outfielder Adam Eaton for 1yr/$7m plus a club option, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. This brings Eaton back to the Windy City four years to the day after the Sox traded him to the Washington Nationals in 2016 — for a package that included Dunning, in an even bigger coincidence.

Eaton has fallen far from his old 6-WAR peak and didn’t hit well this year, and he’s moved from CF to RF the last couple seasons, and he’s missed tons of time to injuries, but when healthy he’s generally been an above-average hitter and provided value. He turned 32 on Sunday.

Hot take: I love these moves. The White Sox core has come together, so now the team is spending to supplement it with the other pieces it needs to contend for a championship. Are you watching, John Fisher? This is how you own a baseball team properly.

Maybe I wouldn’t have picked Eaton specifically, but in principle, they’re spending at the time you’re supposed to spend. And they’re not done, as they’re still interested in star free agents Liam Hendriks and Michael Brantley.

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