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White Sox sign former enemy Brad Keller to minor league deal

Keller was the victim of Tim Anderson's OG bat flip in 2019

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The White Sox signed right-handed starter Brad Keller to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to the major league camp, the team announced on Friday.

Keller, 28, is an old foe of the White Sox. Back in April 2019, Tim Anderson sent a home run into the Guaranteed Rate right field stands off of Keller, chucking his bat and shouting at Keller in the process.

Keller was not happy with Anderson, and in an ensuing matchup, he plunked Anderson, causing both benches to clear. Keller expressed his dismay with Anderson's persona and how White Sox fans treated him on social media.

Here's what he said about Anderson's reaction to his home run back then.

“And how he acted afterward, to me and my whole team, was just over the top," Keller said during an appearance on The Charity Stripe podcast. "It's like, 'Bro, you hit a homer. Congrats.' This wasn't a Game 7 homer. This wasn't a playoff homer. This wasn't even a homer to win the game.

"Ultimately, we won the game, 3-2, in the long run, but that gets kind of lost in the whole transaction of everything. It just seemed like, at the time, it was an April home run. 'Why are you throwing your bat to the dugout or whatever?' We had beef in the past, as far as our teams, and that was just like fuel on the fire, basically, is what it seemed like.

In an appearance with NBC Sports Chicago following his bat flip, Anderson amplified his actions, saying he pumped up his team by saying "Let's go!" after the home run. Anderson reiterated he didn't care about Keller's reaction, saying the moment wasn't about him.

"I hurt [the pitcher's] feelings, but so what? This is not about him. This about me and my squad," Anderson said.

The beef continued long past the bat flip and the benches clearing. Keller called out White Sox fans on X. He wasn't excited about his inclusion as a villain in the Chicago sports landscape. And now, he joins the South Side in what will likely be a complicated player-fan relationship.

Keller's signing loops in with several other signings this offseason with attachments to the Royals organization. Nicky Lopez, Martín Maldonado, Tim Hill, etc., are a few names who have prior attachments to the Royals, where Pedro Grifol was once the bench coach before earning a skipper spot with the White Sox.

Keller has played with the Royals for the entirety of his career. In his six seasons there, predominantly as a starter, Keller holds a career 4.27 ERA from 679 innings pitched and 114 starts. He's struck out 506 batters in his career and walked 303.

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