Rays Sign Jeff Keppinger

Jeff Keppinger has signed a one-year Major League deal with the Rays, the team announced. The CSE client will earn $1.525MM in 2012, the Tampa Tribune tweets. Executive VP Andrew Friedman explained why Keppinger’s a fit via team press release. 

“He is a tough out, especially against left-handers, and his contact skills bring a useful dimension to our roster,” Friedman said. “We also value his defensive versatility, which will allow him to make an impact in many different ways."

Keppinger posted a .277/.300/.377 line in 399 plate appearances for the Astros and Giants in 2011. The 31-year-old only played second base last year, but he has started 80-plus games at shortstop and third base in his seven-year career. Keppinger earned $2.3MM last year and would have obtained a raise through arbitration, so the Giants non-tendered him in December, holding onto Mike Fontenot instead.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (via Twitter) first reported the agreement after Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter) reported that a deal was close.


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