(Nashville, Tennessee)– One of the dominant characteristics of this free agent class is the lack of infield options. There were, and still are, multiple outfield options and pitching options, but quality infielders are difficult to come by. It is part of the reason why Marco Scutaro received a $20 million deal despite being 37 years old. It is why players like Jack Hannahan have as many as five teams negotiating for his services. Jeff Keppinger, the 32 year old, versatile infielder was one of the more attractive options on the market. Coming off of a .325/.367/.439 season for the Rays and having the ability to play third, second, first, and outfield made him one of the better buys of the winter.
The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms with Keppinger on a three year deal and reported $12 million. For the moment, Keppinger would be the White Sox’s starting third baseman. A three year deal seems a bit much for a player entering his ninth year and playing for his sixth team. But, given the relatively low annual salary and the fact he’ll be 35 years old at the end of it, makes it much more palatable. In a winter of inflated deals for older players, the Hahn finds quality at a pre-2012 price. Consider that Keppinger was coming off of a career season and other players in his age range and skillset have received infinitely more money. Hahn was able to get him at half the cost of Marco Scutaro.
Category: 2012 Winter Meetings