By: David Schuster-
NASHVILLE (CBS) — There was an influx of both Chicago teams needing third basemen, and players available coming into Baseball’s Winter Meetings, and on Wednesday the logjam opened up.
The White Sox were one of the teams that secured a new third bagger, agreeing to terms with Jeff Keppinger, who played last season at Tampa Bay. Keppeinger, 32, batted .325 with 9 home runs and 40 RBI’s in 115 games with the Rays. He bats right handed, and is most known as a player who makes good contact at the plate, and rarely strikes out. That fits in perfectly with the what the Sox desire, since they want more versatility in their lineup, and also hitters who won’t strike out, since they already have a few who do plenty of that.
It’s still conceivable that the Sox could sign another utility infielder who can also play third, and who hits from the left side of the plate. One such player is Jack Hannahan, who is still on the market, and it might be time to learn how to play basketball for him. But this definitely spells the end of the short time for Kevin Youkilis in a Chicago uniform, as the Sox never really made a serious overture to him. Look for Youkilis to end up with either the Indians or the Yankees, who the Sox beat out in getting Keppinger.
As for the Cubs, they also are in the market for a third baseman, and they admitted that they were in on the bidding for Keppinger and also Eric Chavez, who signed with Arizona. General Manager Jed Hoyer appeared slightly disappointed that he hasn’t been able to land a third sacker to this point, but said he was confident he would eventually reel one in.