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White Sox land Keppinger with 3-year deal

(MCT) — NASHVILLE, Tenn. — While the agent for Kevin Youkilis is conducting follow-up chats with teams, the Chicago White Sox have filled their opening at third base.

The Sox have reached a three-year deal with infielder Jeff Keppinger, a Sox source confirmed. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com was the first to report the signing, and published reports say the deal is with $12 million, pending a physical examination.

Keppinger, 32, batted .325 with nine home runs and 40 RBIs in 115 games with Tampa Bay. Keppinger is a lifetime .288 hitter and is considered one of the toughest batters to strike out. He struck out only 31 times in 418 at-bats plate appearances in 2012.

Keppinger played 50 games at third in place of Evan Longoria last year. He is recovering from a broken right fibula while tripping over a flight of stairs at his home, but he's expected to be ready for the start of the 2013 season.

Joe Bick, Youkilis' agent, appreciated the dialogue with the Sox.

"They kept us informed of where they might be headed," Bick said before heading to a meeting. "They were good about it."

Keppinger has played for the New York Mets, Kansas City (under current Sox assistant general manager Buddy Bell), Cincinnati, Houston, San Francisco and the Rays.

Out of 677 games, Keppinger has played 152 games at third. He has played 307 games at second and 178 at shortstop.

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