The White Sox formally announced the three-year, $12 million signing of Jeff Keppinger on Monday, with the second-simplest kind of contract structure: $3.5 million, $4 million and $4.5 million.
Keppinger passed a physical, which was more than a formality since he suffered a hairline fracture in his fibula due to inappropriate footwear:
"I thought I just rolled my ankle and sprained it. I was wearing flip-flops coming down the stairs, and I just slipped. I thought I could catch myself, and I didn't land right"
The injury might have had its greatest effect already, with Rick Hahn saying that it slowed down his signing by a week or two as other teams did due diligence on the reports. He comes out of the walking boot today, and doctors expect him to be 100 percent by spring training. So he's a White Sox now, and that allowed Keppinger and Hahn to speak about the arrangement on a conference call with reporters.
Outside of the ankle injury update, the most newsworthy thing Keppinger said was, "I haven't talked to anybody about where I'm going to play." He chose Chicago because he likes the city and the Sox have designs on competing. The length of the contract doesn't hurt, either.
Hahn did say that Keppinger is the Opening Day third baseman, but qualified it with "for now," adding:
"He has the flexibility and versatility allow us to be creative with some other options as the offseason unfolds and into the next couple of seasons."
He also stands a pretty good shot of batting second. Hahn said that he has the skills, but he would leave it up to Robin Ventura when they have settled on their roster for spring training.
Besides Keppinger, Hahn offered no news on the A.J. Pierzynski front aside from the usual line about both sides keeping each other informed. He did say, "The dialogue's been very open and honest from our perspective about expectations and fit," which might suggest it's more about money (allowing Tyler Flowers to take a large role). Or it could be a boilerplate comment.