Mar 12, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton (1) runs to first base against the San Francisco Giants at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago White Sox will have Adam Eaton in centerfield for the next five seasons with a new five-year, $23.5 million deal with club options for the ’20 and ’21 seasons.
This is a great deal for the White Sox, and one White Sox fans should be happy with. For at least the next five season, the team will have a lead-off hitter who can hit in the high .280s or better most likely, as the centerfielder with the Twitter handle @AdamSpankyEaton is coming off a .300 season in his first year with the White Sox.
With the White Sox in ’14, not only did Eaton bat the aforementioned .300, the 5-8 centerfielder in 123 games played had an on-base percentage of .362 with a .401 slugging percentage. Eaton totaled 26 doubles, 10 triples and even flexed his muscles with one home run.
In the final game of the regular season last year, Eaton was 3-for-3, securing his .300 average.
Scott Merkin of WhiteSox.com wrote about how having a “capable leadoff hitter like Eaton” is rare.
"“Merkin wrote: Having a capable leadoff hitter such as Eaton is a rare commodity. Having one of good clubhouse character and with Gold Glove capabilities helps the deal make even more sense, despite Eaton’s frenetic on-field style that produced two trips to the disabled list last season.”"
What worries me the most about Eaton is his ability to play a full season with his style of play, but again, it is that style of all-out play that makes him the type of exciting player he is.
With Eaton, he brought a different style to the White Sox last season and though he’s only 26 years old, I believe he’s one of the new leaders of this ball club. When he is healthy and on the field, Eaton is a difference maker.
Eaton was the spark plug the White Sox desperately needed following the disaster 2013 season, and just from the energy the lead-off hitting centerfielder provides, the trade for him on Dec. 10 in a three-team trade was well worth it for the White Sox.
This season, Eaton will earn $850,000, and from there is when his salary will continue to jump each season, and that’s when hopefully he’ll be in the prime of his career with the White Sox in centerfield.
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This spring, Eaton is batting .273 (through Friday, March 20) with two doubles and two RBIs in 22 at-bats (eight games). He’s also walked three times, stolen two bases and has struck out four times.
Again, this is a very smart, quality signing by the White Sox, and I see only the best for Eaton and his game to come as he continues his White Sox career.