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Nationals drop to 22nd overall on Keith Law’s 2017 Farm System rankings...

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The trade with the White Sox for Adam Eaton resulted in the Nationals dropping from 15th to 22nd on Keith Law’s list of the top farm systems in baseball.

MLB: Washington Nationals at San Diego Padres Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

In order to acquire Adam Eaton from the White Sox to play center field in the nation’s capital, Washington Nationals’ General Manager Mike Rizzo sent his top two pitching prospects (Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez) to the White Sox along with 2016 first-round pick Dane Dunning.

Rizzo explained to reporters after the trade was announced why he was comfortable making the deal.

“To acquire a player with this skill set that has the years of control and the favorable -- the contract that he has — takes good players in return,” he said.

“We're fortunate enough, we trade from a position of depth. We felt we have great depth in our starting pitching. We utilized that to turn a relatively -- a hole in our lineup and we dealt from strength and depth to correct that and we still like the depth that we have beyond the Major League rotation.”

“We certainly got what we wanted in Adam Eaton,” Rizzo added.

“The White Sox should and do feel good about what they acquired in this. The good thing is we have depth behind them in the prospect ranks.”

As ESPN.com’s Keith Law put it this morning, in dropping the Nats from 15th overall on his 2016 Farm System Rankings to 22nd overall this season, “... ultimately, you can’t trade away as many prospects as the Nationals have without taking a real hit to your system.”

While their prospect depth took a hit, Law noted that the addition of Eaton, “... helped make the big-league club one of the best teams on paper in either league.”

Check out the rest of the Farm System Rankings released today (30-21), with the rest to follow this week along with Law’s Top 100 prospects list and team-by-team rankings over the next week-plus. It’s all INSIDER ONLY, of course: