The White Sox and Adam Eaton have agreed to terms on a five-year, $25.5 million contract extension, the club announced Friday.
The deal includes club options for 2020 and 2021.
Eaton, 26, will receive $850,000 in 2015, $2.75 million in 2016, $4 million in 2017, $6 million in 2018 and $8.4 million in 2019. The White Sox hold options for 2020 at $9.5 million and for 2021 at $10.5 million. If either option is declined, Eaton will receive a $1.5-million buyout.
The White Sox leadoff man hit .300 with 26 doubles, 10 triples, one home run, 35 RBIs, 76 runs and 15 stolen bases in 2014, his first season with the White Sox after being acquired from Arizona.
“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. “It’s an important piece to any successful club and we’re happy that we can work out something that extends his stay in a White Sox uniform to potentially seven years.”
The Sox have been good at signing young core players to extensions before their free agent seasons. They signed Chris Sale to a $32.5 million multiyear extension two springs ago and Jose Quintana to a $26.5 million extension last spring. Two offseasons ago they landed Cuban star Jose Abreu as a free agent, signing him to a six-year, $68 million deal that looks like a bargain now.
“It’s important for us to be able to maintain flexibility in our payroll so that we are able to go out and take advantage of opportunities as they arise, such as Abreu a couple of offseaosns ago, or the aggressiveness we showed this offseason,” Hahn said. “When you have premium talent such as Chris Sale, Jose Quintana or Adam Eaton on a deal, it gives you come certainty and a great deal of value, you’re able to reallocate other resources to address other needs.
“Adam specifically said that was important to him. It was one of the many considerations he undertook and I’m sure he will share with you guys that it puts us in position where it does give us that flexibility and puts us in a position where we can use our funds toward other needs when they arise.”
Contributing: Daryl Van Schouwen