The Yankees have "renewed (their) longstanding interest" in free agent utility man Jeff Keppinger, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. People within the industry think the team may be laying groundwork to use Alex Rodriguez as the primary DH as soon as 2013, which GM Brian Cashman refuted.
"There is no discussion whatsoever about Alex transitioning from third base to DH, part-time DH, first base or any other position on the field," said Cashman. "As we approach anyone in the free-agent market or anyone in trades, we’re making sure we have insurance policies, (asking) our what-ifs?"
Keppinger, 32, hit .325/.367/.439 in 418 plate appearances for the Rays this season while playing primary second and third bases. The Yankees tried to acquire him from the Astros two winters ago. Rosenthal says New York has not spoken to the Tigers about Jhonny Peralta as they look for utility infield help, though they reportedly have interest in free agent Stephen Drew.
Rodriguez, 37, hit .272/.353/.430 with 18 homers in 529 plate appearances last season. He missed more than a month with a broken bone in his hand after getting hit by a pitch. Derek Jeter is currently rehabbing from a fractured left ankle and the team expects to be ready in time for Opening Day. The Yankees are still seeking infield depth just in case either veteran continues to fight the injury bug.