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#pounditSunday, May 9, 2021

Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Dane Dunning – Nats give up a haul

Lucas Giolito

The Washington Nationals made a big move on Wednesday by acquiring Adam Eaton in a trade with the Chicago White Sox, but it’s really about what they gave up to get him that is the story.

The Nats traded Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning — three of their top prospects — to Chicago for Eaton.

Eaton is an above-average right fielder who hits around .280-.290, posts a .360 OBP and around a .360 slugging percentage. The defensive metrics also graded him very well last season. He also is under contract through 2019, with two team options that could keep him with the Nats through the 2021 season. His contract for him to be paid $4 million next season and tops out at $10.5 million in 2021 if his option is picked up. He’s very cheap for being a good player, and the Nats could put him in center, allowing Trea Turner to move back to short.

But what about what they’re giving up?

The Nats are sending pitching prospect Lucas Giolito, who is the No. 1 player in their system. Giolito was the No. 16 pick in 2012, and he only slipped that far because he had Tommy John surgery. He has put together three full seasons in a row in the minors and did very well. The Nats even called him up last season and he pitched 21.1 innings with a 6.75 ERA. The 6-foot-6 right hander averaged 9.68 K/9 innings in the minors, along with a 2.73 ERA. He is a very promising prospect, to say the least.

Reynaldo Lopez is 22 and was signed by the Nats in 2012 out of the Dominican Republic. A starter throughout his time in the minors, Lopez also pitched in relief upon being called up by the Nats last season. He went 5-3 with a 4.91 ERA in 44 innings with the Nats last season. He has gone 19-19 with a 3.16 ERA during his minor league career, while averaging 8.85 K/9.

Dane Dunning was the No. 29 overall pick in the 2016 draft by the Nats. Mostly a reliever during his senior season at Florida, Dunning impressed at low-A ball, going 3-2 with a 2.14 ERA in seven starts in the Nats’ system. Things are early for the 21-year-old right-hander, but he’s off to a good start.

The White Sox just traded away Chris Sale to Boston for Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Basabe and Victor Diaz, and now they’ve added three top pitching prospects from the Nats’ organization. They have done a great job rebuilding in the past two days.

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