It looks like the third base search is actually over. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Chicago White Sox are going to sign Jeff Keppinger.
Keppinger has been in the crosshairs since the morning and the signing also means that the White Sox won’t be bringing back Kevin Youkilis. It also means that the White Sox aren’t going to be signing Jack Hannahan.
Keppinger played for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012. He hit .325, had nine home runs and drove in 40 runs. Career wise, Keppinger is .288 hitter, has 255 runs batted in and has hit 41 home runs. The offense that Keppinger brings is a big upgrade from Brent Morel and other players the White Sox were looking at.
Defensively, Keppinger can play all the infield positions. He is a natural second and third baseman. He actually puts up better numbers defensively at second then he does at third base. At third base he has a fielding percentage of .964. At second base he is much better at .989.
Because of the numbers that Keppinger has defensively at second it gives the White Sox an option. If the White Sox want, they can move Gordon Beckham back to third base and play Keppinger at second. I don’t think the White Sox should do that since Beckham has turned into one of the best second basemen in the entire MLB.
The contract that Keppinger signed with the White Sox is a three year contract for $12 million. This is the first signing of the Rick Hahn era. We shall see if there are any more in the winter meetings.
Let me know what you think of the signing, leave a comment and follow me on Twitter @EvanCrum1319