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The White Sox to sign Jeff Keppinger to a three-year, $12 million deal

Dec 5, 2012, 1:28 PM EDT

Jeff Keppinger AP

Jeff Keppinger has, in a thin market for infielders, been a hot property this week. Now Jon Heyman reports that the White Sox are going to sign him for three years and $12 million.

The Yankees were said to be extremely interested in him, but were wary about giving him a contract of any significant length.

Keppinger hit .325/.367/.439 with nine home runs and 40 RBI in 418 plate appearances this past season for Tampa Bay while making appearances at third base, second base, first base and designated hitter. ¬†Even for three years, that’s an extremely useful player to have.

  1. Detroit Michael - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Knock 30 – 40 points off of each of his .325/.367/.439 figures and those are his career rates. That’s still a useful player considering his versatility. However, considering he was never regarded as a star, there might not be all that much talent left by age 35, the last season in his new three-year contract.

    • paperlions - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      …and BABIP is responsible for that 30-40 pt difference between his career numbers and last year….before last year his career BABIP was .287….last year it jumped to .332, the first time since 2007 it was above .300….so the WS are highly unlikely to be getting 3 years of 2012 Keppinger production.

      • Detroit Michael - Dec 5, 2012 at 4:11 PM

        Yes, that’s my point. You really can’t evaluate the signing by looking just at his 2012 batting line, when that’s the best he’s posted in five years. The White Sox shouldn’t be expected the 2012 level of productivity.

      • paperlions - Dec 5, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        I know…I was just point out the reason for the “improvement”, which was luck. There was no change in his skill level, he didn’t walk more or hit with more power, he just got a little luckier than he usually does given his hitting ability. The WS will be very lucky to get a single season that resembles 2012 more than 2011 (when he was horrible)…it isn’t like guys get better from 33 to 35.

      • stex52 - Dec 5, 2012 at 4:36 PM

        There is probably a related factor that is not completely separable from the BABIP. I understand that he was used very heavily against left handers by the Rays. (The Astros started to do the same thing with him when he was in Houston).

        He tears up left-handed pitching. Right-handers, not so much. As a situational hitter he is very valuable. Day-to-day, I definitely think you could call this an overpay.

      • paperlions - Dec 5, 2012 at 5:27 PM

        That is a bit of it. 30% of his PAs last year were vs lefties, and he did crush them, but his BABIP vs righties was still. 318, which was > 40 pts higher than it usually is against righties…his BABIP vs lefties was 35 pts higher than his career average as well….just a lucky year for him….but yeah, as a platoon guy against lefties, he’ll be an asset.

  2. lennygore - Dec 5, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Feeling ho-hum about this deal. Seems like the type of player that just got his last “great” deal and may perform well in the 1st year but the last 2 level off. Good that he plays multiple positions at least.

  3. jlovenotjlo - Dec 5, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Does this end the possibility of the White Sox resigning Youk?

  4. stlouis1baseball - Dec 5, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    Wait! Hold. The. Phone. This can’t be possible. Everyone was adamant he would NOT get a 3 year deal.

    • stex52 - Dec 5, 2012 at 4:38 PM

      There’s a difference between “wouldn’t” and “Shouldn’t”. Jeff found himself a seller’s market.

      Good for him.

  5. uyf1950 - Dec 5, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    It’s beginning to look more and more like Jason Nix will be the Yankees primary fill in for A-Rod at 3rd base and if need be the Yankees might think about calling up Jose Pirela or David Adams in a pinch. Pirela did very very this past season in Double A Trenton. I’ve of the opinion anyone but Nunez at 3rd base.

    • uyf1950 - Dec 5, 2012 at 4:20 PM

      correction in last line: Pirela did very “well” this past season….

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