Aug 10, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Jeff Keppinger (7) throws the ball to a teammate during warmups before a game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - The Chicago White Sox officially signed
infielder Jeff Keppinger to a three-year contract on Monday, presumably ending
the team's search for a new third baseman for the upcoming season.
According to MLB.com, the pact is worth a total of $12 million. Multiple
outlets had previously reported the agreement during last week's Winter
Meetings in Nashville.
Keppinger is coming off a career year with the Tampa Bay Rays in which he
batted .325 with a personal-best nine homers along with 40 RBI over 115 games.
The versatile veteran also started over 20 times at three positions (third
base, second base and first base) for the Rays.
The 32-year-old is slated to replace current free agent Kevin Youkilis as
Chicago's primary third baseman.
"Jeff adds a valuable and different type of offensive player to our lineup,"
said White Sox vice president/general manager Rick Hahn. "Combined with his
ability to play quality defense at multiple positions as well as his overall
approach to the game, we are thrilled to add him to our mix."
Keppinger is a .288 hitter with 41 homers over an eight-year major league
career spent with six different teams. He broke into the big leagues with the
New York Mets in 2004 and has also played for Kansas City, Cincinnati, Houston
and San Francisco in addition to Tampa Bay.
The Georgia native, who is expected to be ready for spring training despite
breaking his right leg in a home accident last month, had drawn considerable
interest at the Winter Meetings, with the New York Yankees, Oakland, the
Chicago Cubs and Arizona all reported to have shown interest.
The Sports Network