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White Sox add infield veteran at meetings

– A person familiar with the contract tells The Associated Press that versatile infielder Jeff Keppinger has reached agreement with the White Sox on a $12 million, three-year contract.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday because there was no announcement by the team.

Keppinger hit .325 with a career-high nine home runs and 40 RBI for Tampa Bay last season. The well-traveled 32-year-old is known for making contact and has more walks than strikeouts during his eight-year career with the Rays, San Francisco, Houston, Cincinnati, Kansas City and the Mets.

Keppinger is expected to play third base for the White Sox. Kevin Youkilis finished the season at that spot for Chicago last season, then became a free agent.

Meanwhile, Joe Blanton, Jason Bay, Eric Chavez, Randy Choate and Sean Burnett all wound up in different places while top contenders waited for a pair of free-agent prizes to make their decisions.

The lone trade was minor, with Detroit sending left-hander Andy Oliver to Pittsburgh for a young catcher.

Former MVP Josh Hamilton and former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke remained in play. They’re the driving forces in this market and depending on where they go, more moves are likely to follow.

“Obviously, one of the bigger dominoes,” Daniels said. “Trying to get the first one to fall.”

New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey keeps drawing attention. He lives near the Opryland Hotel and dropped in for a visit, though there’s no change in his situation. Signed for next season, he wants a new contract while several clubs, including Boston, want to trade for the reigning NL Cy Young winner.

“We wondered if one of the guys went off, (if) it would speed up. We’ll see,” Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said. “It seems like it may be moving a little bit.”

Also in the mix: Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, amid speculation Arizona is trying to get him in a multiteam swap.

Arizona wound up with Chavez, giving the corner infielder a $3 million, one-year contract, a person with knowledge of the deal said. Chavez hit .281 with 16 homers for the Yankees. Bay and the Seattle Mariners agreed on a one-year deal, a person familiar with the negotiation said.

The Los Angeles Angels added Blanton and Burnett to their retooled pitching staff, and St. Louis signed Choate for its bullpen.

Baltimore kept outfielder Nate McLouth and Colorado re-signed pitcher Jeff Francis.

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