Rays Interested In Jeff Keppinger

The Rays have expressed interest in free agent infielder Jeff Keppinger, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick tweets. The CSE client is still in contact with multiple clubs.

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. It wouldn't be a surprise to see clubs such as the Yankees and Mariners express interest in Keppinger.

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10 Comments on "Rays Interested In Jeff Keppinger"

3 years 7 months ago

Oh please, God no. Trade Upton for somebody, don’t sign this guy.

3 years 7 months ago

Do you have some specific reason for this or are you just being dramatic? His numbers don’t look horrible for a utility infielder type. He can play shortstop AND bat more than .250, something we did not have last year.  I’m not a stats guru but his fielding numbers might be slightly suspect but I’d trade 2 extra errors during the year for an extra 50 average points at SS.  But that’s just me.  This guy got an extra foot growing out of his ear or something?  What gives? 

BTW, all that said it is my considered opinion that S-Rod should be and will be the pretty regular SS this year.  I have faith that his hitting will continue to improve as it did over the year in 2011, that Brignac will never hit anything but a golf ball with that whacked out swing of his, and that there is not a significant defensive advantage to either.  Brignac’s a little slicker fielder but you never know where that throw is going.  Sean is not so slick but IMO, much steadier.  Where the difference to me lies is that Sean plays hardnosed, old time hockey type baseball, the way it should be played.  If you disagree, ask Mike Napoli.  I’m glad neither player was hurt on that collision so I can say that it was a thing of beauty.  That’s just one example but if you read what JoeMa and some of the other players say about Sean, I think you’ll agree with the opinion.  So Sean is my SS choice if he can keep his average above .230 cause he’s a ballplayer and they’re rare these days.

3 years 7 months ago

Well put.  I would agree with going with S.Rod any day over Brignac.  That uppercut swing of his is going to be his ticket back to AAA (Hello hitting coach, where are you?).  S.Rod just needs to step up and do something with his average this year.  If he hit over .240 and had solid defense I would very happy.  Now we just need to deal either Davis/Neiman for an everyday catcher and we will be good to go for 2012.

3 years 7 months ago

I like it. Brignac was pitiful to watch at the plate. S-Rod is sometimes a great hitter, but a lot of the time he was pretty bad as well. 😛

3 years 7 months ago

I like this.  He’ll be a huge improvement.  Good contact hitter with low strikeouts, this coul dbe a steal…

3 years 7 months ago

As a Giants fan, I thought Keppinger did a great job stepping in when Freddy Sanchez got hurt.  Kepp did have a cold spell there for a while, but, in general, he’s pretty decent, hits for contact, decen’t average, good eye, and rarely strikes out.

In many ways, I wish the Giants had kept him instead of Fontenot.  Despite what this post says, Keppinger isn’t really anything other than a second baseman. He doesn’t have the range or arm to play SS or 3B regularly.  That’s precisely why the Giants kept Fontenot as their backup utility player. If the Giants had faith that Keppinger could step in at SS or 3B if someone got hurt, the Giants would surely have kept him over the light-hitting Fontenot.  But he can’t truly play those other positions.  The Giants will surely kick themselves if/when Freddy Sanchez lands on the DL again.  Still, he’d be a pretty solid pickup for a team who needs help at second. He won’t be an all-star but there are a few teams for whom he’d surely be an upgrade.  I don’t follow the Rays enough to know what options they have at second, so I won’t comment if the Rays are such a team, but there are such teams out there.

3 years 7 months ago

what do the Red Sox have at 2B if Pedroia goes down? Aviles?

3 years 7 months ago

I like him as depth in the infield he should replace Elliot Johnson from last year

3 years 7 months ago

 I think the Rays are looking at Keppinger in two ways.  Back up infielder to provide depth for 3B, SS, and 2B.  And likely 2B starter against tough lefties.  Keppingers got a near .800 OPS career against lefties.  That would allow them to keep SRod at SS, have Keppinger at 2nd, move Zobrist into RF, have Luke Scott play 1B (Scott doesn’t have dramatic splits) and Brandon Guyer DH.  Gives Joyce and Pena a rest against tough lefties whom they both drastically struggle against. 

3 years 7 months ago

Rays are also looking at Edfgar Renteria for bench help.