In a bit of surprising news Wednesday morning, the White Sox activated infielder Jeff Keppinger from the disabled list and promptly designated him for assignment.
The move isn't surprising because of who Keppinger is so much as the money in which he is owed. The White Sox inked him to a three year, $12 million deal prior to last season and still owe him $8.5 million over this season and next.
But Rick Hahn made it clear the 34-year-old isn't part of the immediate future, as this series of tweets points out:
Hahn on Keppinger decision: "We are focusing on the future as opposed to trying to justify a decision from the past."— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) May 14, 2014
Hahn said Keppinger's shoulder is healthy and he's ready to contribute at the big league level. They want those at-bats for ...— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) May 14, 2014
... the younger players: Gillaspie, Beckham, Garcia, Semien, Minor Leaguers on the rise.— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) May 14, 2014
Hahn on the signing: "It didn’t work. That’s on me."— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) May 14, 2014
It's certainly nice to see a general manager own up to an obvious mistake, although it obviously doesn't change the fact that the signing was ill-advised in hindsight.
It's entirely possible that the White Sox would have been marginally better with a healthy Keppinger on the roster for the remainder of 2014, so this move, and his remarks in the above tweets, make it clear that he has an eye on the future. More at-bats this year for the young guys is never a bad thing.