White Sox sign Jeff Keppinger and other Winter Meeting Notes

Posted: December 5, 2012 by Mauricio Rubio Jr. in Baseball, MLB, Sports
Tags: , , , , , ,

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White Sox signed Keppinger to a 3 year, 12mm deal – Keppinger’s deal opens up some new possibilities for the White Sox. He has some positional flexibility, although it is assumed that he will play third, and he is a contact hitter that can hit second in the lineup. Diversifying the batting order is something the White Sox have struggled with in the past. The 2012 White Sox struggled in September and seemed to be overly reliant on the HR ball. Keppinger is an upgrade over whatever position he takes, he’s better than both Morel and Beckham (UZR, a defensive metric, also likes his defense over Youk’s at third. UZR is still in it’s infancy, however, so take that with a grain of salt).

The move also indicates that they have perhaps moved beyond Youkilis which might free them up to add other pieces. Merkin thinks they go for another INF or a Catcher, assuming AJ is gone. There have been some rumblings that they can be dark horse candidates for a big name starter, like Greinke, but I think the dollars are too high for that to be a real possibility. Greinke is likely to get over 160mm.

My hunch is that AJ is gone, the Sox trade for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and add a smaller name free agent pitcher like Anibal Sanchez or even Brandon McCarthy. Either way, the White Sox rumor mill is heating up and we will keep you guys posted.

Demp might be back after all – Rumors are swirling that Dempster might be back on the north side in 2013. Dempster turned down a contract from the Royals and the Brewers are playing a bit of hardball with him. The Cubs are looking for starters and if they are left out on the names they’ve been chasing, McCarthy et al, there is a real possibility that Dempster returns.

The Cubs are also looking at free agent 3B like Mark Reynolds. He’s a high risk, high reward play but he is an upgrade over Ian Stewart. The Cubs won’t be adding big names until they feel ready for contention, so guys like Reynolds are going to be the norm for a while.

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