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Keppinger, Chavez, Blanton & Bay move at meetings
Away from the dais where Wright spoke, inside the suites at the sprawling 2,881-room hotel, several players changed jerseys.
Keppinger agreed with the Chicago White Sox on a $12 million, three-year contract, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because there was no announcement.
The versatile infielder hit .325 with a career-high nine home runs and 40 RBIs for Tampa Bay last season. At 32, the well-traveled Keppinger 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 likely 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. The New York Yankees and Arizona also had been interested in Keppinger.
Arizona wound up with Chavez, giving the corner infielder a $3 million, one-year contract, a person with knowledge of the deal said.
The 34-year-old Chavez hit .281 with 16 homers in 278 at-bats for the Yankees, seeing time at first base, third base and designated hitter. The six-time Gold Glove winner lives in the Phoenix area.
Bay and the Seattle Mariners agreed on a one-year deal, a person familiar with the negotiation said. The 34-year-old outfielder is hoping to resurrect his career with the Mariners after three disappointing and injury-plagued seasons with the Mets.
St. Louis signed Choate for its bullpen and the Chicago Cubs closed in on a deal to put Schierholtz in their outfield.
Baltimore kept outfielder Nate McLouth and Colorado re-signed pitcher Jeff Francis.
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