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Yankees interested in free agent infielder Jeff Keppinger

Nov 24, 2012, 5:01 PM EDT

Jeff Keppinger AP AP

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Yankees have renewed their “longstanding interest” in free agent infielder Jeff Keppinger. The Yankees have Eduardo Nunez and Jayson Nix on their roster, but they are currently seeking a veteran infielder who can play third base and fill in at shortstop with Derek Jeter coming off ankle surgery.

Keppinger isn’t a perfect fit for the role described by Rosenthal, as he hasn’t played shortstop since 2010 as a member of the Astros, but the Yankees have tried to acquire him on two previous occasions. The 32-year-old batted .325/.367/.439 with nine home runs, 40 RBI and an .806 OPS in 115 games with the Rays this past season while making starts at first base, second base and the hot corner.

At the very least, Keppinger would fill the void left by free agent Eric Chavez, who filled in at third base and first base at various points this year. Rosenthal has heard some scuttlebutt that the Yankees may be “laying the groundwork” to use Rodriguez as their primary designated hitter next season, but general manager Brian Cashman has refuted any such claims.

“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,” Cashman said.

“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?”

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported earlier this week that the Yankees could consider free agent Stephen Drew for a super-sub role while Rosenthal speculates that free agent Marco Scutaro and Tigers’ shortstop Jhonny Peralta could also fit the bill.

  1. uyf1950 - Nov 24, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    I’ve been on the Jeff Keppinger bandwagon since the trade deadline. I think depending on the right deal he’s an ideal player for the Yankees. There in lies the the question “depending on the right deal”. For me that means 2 years/$8 to $10MM total. Having said that I don’t think that will get a deal done. It would not surprise me to see some team offer him a full time position and more money which he can’t/won’t get from the Yankees. I think ultimately the Yankees will go with Chavez who surprisingly was very healthy in 2012 and very productive and Nunez and they may wind up holding on to Nix via arbitration for about $900K. It’s not the worst thing the Yankees could wind up with. Just my opinion.

  2. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 24, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Big time stuff!

  3. indaburg - Nov 24, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    “Yankees have tried to acquire him on two previous occasions.”

    How have they failed to acquire him in the past? Just wondering. In most cases, whatever the Yankees want, the Yankees get.

    It sucks so many teams are interested in him. I was hoping the Rays could keep him.

  4. proudlycanadian - Nov 24, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    It can be difficult at times to know what the Yankees actually plan to do. From what I have seen, the team rarely leaks anything. Leaks about the Yankees seem to come from agents and other teams.

  5. historiophiliac - Nov 24, 2012 at 7:57 PM

    Oh my god, someone please do something. Anything. Pleeeease. I just need another little hit. It’s another week til meetings. I hope some bomb will drop then. I just need something more. Pleeeeease.

    • indaburg - Nov 24, 2012 at 9:08 PM

      I feel your pain, woman. Just a taste to soothe my soul.

      So, are you a Sooner or a Cowboy? (The game was on. I half listened.)

      • historiophiliac - Nov 24, 2012 at 9:14 PM

        I’m not taking Torii for granted — it just seems so long ago…

        I’m a Poke (cowboys). We have a divided family — some of us are gooners & some are Pokes. It makes for a lively Thanksgiving weekend together. That’s really the only game I usually watch every year…but I didn’t catch it today. Trust me, I got text updates though.

  6. bigjimatch - Nov 24, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Yankees interested in player X. The old “I have nothing to write about” filler article.

  7. 85pmart - Nov 25, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    Arod as DH? Isn’t that sort of a contradiction of terms?

  8. pisano - Nov 25, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    Just a thought, how about landing Keppinger, and then paying someone to take Arod off their hands as they did AJ Burnett.

  9. jolink653 - Nov 26, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    I would love to see the Yankees bring in Scutaro…I’ve been a fan of his for awhile now and he almost always manages to come through in the biggest spots and is a very pesky hitter and a very good defender…We need singles hitters to compliment all the power in the lineup and Scutaro fits that role perfectly, not to mention he can play at any spot in the infield and probably the outfield if needed

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