Eaton thinks White Sox can rebound in 2017

Right fielder hopes to be part of club next season

Eaton thinks White Sox can rebound in 2017

CHICAGO -- The direction of the White Sox moving into the 2017 season, in terms of rebuild or replenish, might not be known for a few months, let alone a few weeks.

But count leadoff man and right fielder Adam Eaton as one player who believes this group could turn things around next season if the same basic core is kept together.

"There is a lot of talent here. There are a lot of good baseball players in here," Eaton said. "It's not the year we thought. And I think with that exact quote, 'It's not the year that we thought,' if we brought the guys back, we might have the year we thought we would have. 

"Again, the talent is great in here. The camaraderie is great in here. It's tough to say whether people will be leaving or whether additions will be added. I'm sure moves will be made. In the game of baseball, there's never an offseason that's quiet, I feel like.

"Whatever [general manager] Rick [Hahn] and the organization sees would be more functional for this team to be better and more consistent on a day-to-day basis, then that's what they see in the team," Eaton said. "If I'm in those plans, great. If not, then it kind of stinks. But if they want me in this uniform next year, I'll be proud to wear it and I'll put everything I have on the field again like I did this year."

White Sox manager Robin Ventura pointed to a different looking lineup at the end of the season compared to the beginning, with Todd Frazier swinging the bat better and Tim Anderson playing every day at shortstop, as a positive sign for this current group.

"There are some talented guys in there that didn't have their normal year or the numbers you'd like," Ventura said. "You like guys [like Eaton] that think that way."

Ventura appreciates Sale's passion, drive

White Sox ace Chris Sale and Ventura have had a few heated disagreements over Ventura's five-year managerial tenure. But Ventura believes they ultimately are on the same team-directed page.

"Some of it gets blown out of proportion," Ventura said. "Him and I, we have frank conversations. That's part of having a healthy relationship. You can say what you want to say.

"But at the end of the day we know we're pulling for the same things and he's competing, doing what he needs to do. We still have a relationship where we can do that. We can be honest and up front with each other."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.