The deal will pay the 26-year-old $850,000 this season but escalates to $8.4 million in 2019. The White Sox hold options for both 2020 and 2021. Eaton hit .300 with 15 stolen bases last season.
"We have a kid here who we think is going to be an essential part of our success over the next couple of years and is a rare piece in this game, a top of the order player who plays in the middle of the diamond, plays a premium position and brings you plus offense and the ability to get on base and run," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said.
"Guys have been going hard, and everybody looks forward to it too," Ventura said. "You sit there and play all these games in a row, and it’s a time for a shift of focus, too. It’s a time for our guys to clear their minds and come back ready to go."
Ventura is expecting both to be back in the lineup Friday.
The team inserted J.B. Shuck into the lineup in place of Eaton, who is likely day to day. Eaton is 6 for 19 with two doubles, three walks and two stolen bases in seven spring games.
The two players are expected to be at the top of the order once the regular season begins, and it's important that they can work together. "It's a process," Cabrera said. "We have to learn each other and how we can be successful together."
Both players sat down and discussed strategy recently, explained what they like to do in different situations. Eaton is expected to swipe a lot of bases, so it's important to him that Cabrera knows what situations he likes. On the flip side, there may be situations where Cabrera would prefer Eaton not run.
Eaton seemed to be satisfied after talking to his new teammate. "This relationship is only going to build," Eaton said. "Like I said, we took leaps and bounds just on Day One. Hopefully, we'll continue to work on that. I think it's going to be very important to the offense."
“I briefly spoke to him (Sunday), and he came off a little aggressive,” Eaton said, per ESPN. “I was like, 'Daggone, this guy is going to be on it.' And then I came back (Monday) and we went out on the basepaths a little bit, and he pumped me up. He really did.”
While Eaton has speed, he totaled just 15 stolen bases and was caught stealing nine times in 2014. Leg injuries played a part in Eaton's poor stolen-base percentage, but he also appeared to be timid at times.
Working with Coleman is expected to make Eaton more effective on the basepaths.
“You want to talk about knowledge and the understanding of stealing a base in baseball, his knack for being aggressive on the basepaths,” Eaton said. “You know me, I’m always thrilled and ready to play tomorrow, but he really got me in the mood.
“I want to steal bags. Get some pitchers out here. I want to do it now. I’m very, very, very thrilled to be able to work with him. I’m very blessed. I’m excited to pick his brain and learn everything I can from him.”
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|9/28/2014 vs Kansas City|
|vs Kansas City||73||25||0||.410||.466||.342|
|vs Ventura (Career)||5||1||0||.400||.167||.200|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
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