Astute Mets fans may have noticed that second baseman Jeff Keppinger of the team’s Triple A club is not in tonight’s lineup. He also didn’t play in Sunday’s game. From the folks I have spoken to close to the Norfolk Tides, Keppinger is not known to have an injury.
A source tells me that Norfolk Tides manager Ken Oberkfell has informed Keppinger that he is part of a deal with the Pirates. Keppinger, a 26 year-old, hit .337 for Norfolk last year. He’s known for his superb bat control, regularly making contact more than 90% of the time. Baseball America considers him a future utility man with a possibility of more. Keppinger previously played in the Pittsburgh organization, and was sent to the Mets in the Kris Benson deal.
A separate source of mine indicates that something is indeed going on with Keppinger. While Keppinger for Roberto Hernandez is feasible, he says the deal may be expanded to include Oliver Perez, among others.
UPDATE: Looks like I was off on this one; a minor deal with the Royals appears to be in the works. KC would send Ruben Gotay to the Mets.