White Sox sign infielder Jeff Keppinger; Not the most exciting news, but it's a smart move

White Sox sign infielder Jeff Keppinger; Not the most exciting news, but it's a smart move
Jeff Keppinger: The new Sox third baseman

It looks like the "Who's on Third?" question has been answered by rookie GM Rick Hahn and the White Sox. The latest Sox news from the Winter Meetings in Nashville is that the South Siders have signed versatile infield veteran Jeff Keppinger to a three-year, $12 million contract.

The conventional wisdom is that Keppinger, a late big league bloomer who hit .325 in a utility role last year with the Rays, will fill the Sox's need at third base with Kevin Youkilis too expensive a property and on the verge of signing elsewhere. Keppinger did a nice job at third last year, temporarily replacing the injured Evan Longoria.

It's not a sexy signing, but Keppinger is a positive addition to the Sox. He'll probably fit the second slot in the order and provide the club with a grinder, a grinder who has struck out only 173 times in his eight-year career. The other benefit of having Keppinger in a Sox uniform is that he has played every infield position. So,  if Brent Morel makes a remarkable comeback, Keppinger will be a valuable commodity off the bench and the contract, which some say is rather generous, still will be worth it even if he's not a starter.

Hopefully they'll be some more tinkering in the near future, but this is a good start.

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Tags: Jeff Keppinger, White Sox

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    Art Berke

    Art Berke, a lifelong White Sox fan, has worked at the highest levels of the sports industry with Major League Baseball, ABC Television and Sports Illustrated. He grew up in Northwest Indiana, in the shadow of old Comiskey Park, and proudly proclaims 2005 as the best year of his life. Art offers his glass half-full opinions and observations as he lives and dies with the Sox.

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