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Nationals discussing deal for CF Adam Eaton

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Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

When the Nationals lost out on Chris Sale yesterday despite putting in a massive offer for him, it appeared Andrew McCutchen might be their next target. Then, though, it emerged that they weren’t willing to include top prospect Victor Robles in a McCutchen deal.

Now it appears they’re negotiating a different deal for an outfielder, also with the White Sox — they’re discussing a trade that would bring Adam Eaton to Washington, as MLB.com’s Scott Merkin reports. And since the two sides already discussed the Sale deal, I wouldn’t be surprised if this one moved quickly.

If there turns out to be a holdup, in fact, it might be on the White Sox’ end. Eaton is controllable through 2021 at very cheap prices, so the Sox don’t need to be in any rush to move him. He’s a significantly more valuable property than McCutchen, too, and not only because of the length of his deal. Eaton doesn’t have McCutchen’s history of hitting for power, but he’s a better baserunner and a much better defender than McCutchen is.

Heading into the Winter Meetings, I would have projected the odds of the Pirates dealing McCutchen this week at about 1:1. Now I bet they’re something like 3:1 or even less.