The Giants acquired Jeff Keppinger from the Astros for right-handed pitchers Henry Sosa and Jason Stoffel, the teams announced. The Astros called Jose Altuve up to the Major Leagues in a related move.
Keppinger has experience at all four infield positions, though he has spent the entire 2011 season at second base. Since recovering from left foot surgery and returning to Houston’s lineup at the end of May, the 31-year-old has a .307/.320/.436 line. He has been hitting especially well of late, with five hits, including two doubles and two home runs, in his last 13 at bats.
About $900K remains on Keppinger's $2.3MM salary for 2011 and he is controllable through 2012 via arbitration. When I looked at Keppinger as a trade candidate earlier in the month, I mentioned the Giants as a possible destination.
Sosa, 25, has a 5.51 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 63 2/3 innings for the Giants' top two affiliates this year. In six professional seasons, he has a 3.61 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9. Baseball America ranked Sosa 29th among Giants prospects before the season, citing his electric arm. However, the Dominican Republic native has "fringy" breaking pitches, according to BA.
Stoffel, 22, was a fourth round pick in 2009. Since then, he has posted a 3.78 ERA with 10.2 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 102 1/3 innings, all of which have come in relief. Now at Double-A, Stoffel has a 3.98 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 in 31 2/3 innings so far this year. Baseball America ranked him 22nd among Giants prospects before the season, explaining that he has a fastball in the 88-93 mph range and a true power slider.
As MLBTR's Transaction Tracker shows, GMs Ed Wade and Brian Sabean have matched up for many trades before, including deals involving Ricky Ledee, Alfredo Simon and, most recently, Matt Downs. Alyson Footer of the Astros first reported the trade (on Twitter).