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Jeff Keppinger wants a three-year, $12 million contract

Dec 4, 2012, 7:43 PM EDT

jeff keppinger getty Getty Images

Free agent infielder Jeff Keppinger is currently recovering from a broken right fibula that he suffered at home last month when he fell down a set of stairs.

But that injury hasn’t diminished his asking price.

According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, Keppinger is looking for a three-year contract worth close to $12 million. The Yankees have made it known that they a serious level of interest, and the Diamondbacks, Cubs and Rays have been linked.

Keppinger batted .325/.367/.439 with a career-high nine home runs and 40 RBI in 418 plate appearances this past season for Tampa Bay while making appearances at third base, second base, first base and designated hitter. The 32-year-old native of Lilburn, Georgia has played some shortstop in the past.

  1. mpic92 - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    I’m sure some of you saw Peter Gammons tweet about a month ago, but I’ll bring it up again (edited by myself so it’s in non-Gammons-Twitter-language): “Three players with 500 career PA have more XBH and BB than K:
    Player: XBH/BB/K
    Pujols: 995, 1027, 780
    Pedroia: 346, 349, 327
    Keppinger: 176, 179, 173
    Elite hand-eye hitters.”

    He’s going to be 33 for the majority of next season, and despite being versatile, he’s a horrible 2B/SS according to UZR and DRS. That being said, he’d certainly be a great fit for the Yankees as a fill-in starter and future part-time player at 3B, also backing up at 1B. At the rate A-Rod’s going with his hips and lateral range, Keppinger could be valuable to have in the lineup and get a bunch of starts at third even when A-Rods back. Smart of the Yankees to not fill up that DH spot with too many non-Jeter and ARod’s.

  2. uyf1950 - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    I think he’s going to be hard pressed to get 3 years/$12MM from any team.

  3. sportsfan69 - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:18 PM

    How about the Reds? Walt, he’s versatile, he can 2B, 3B, and 1B. I’m sure he would like to play with the old gang.

  4. cackalackyank - Dec 4, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    I always thought the fibula was a bone in the leg but this seems to have gone to his head…oh no wait that was the report of A-rod going on the DL until July that hit him. I’m thinking thats when that 3rd year at another 4 mil popped on there.

  5. vallewho - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    no one should give this guy 3 years anything….

  6. pdowdy83 - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Well he may have a case if Scutaro gets 3yrs/$24mil. Not saying either deserve it but the market is nuts and Keppinger is “worth” half of Scutaro I would have to guess.

    Probably more in line for a 2yr/$8mil deal but who can blame the guy for trying. Jeremy Guthrie and Jonny Gomes have already been overpaid, why not him?

  7. jeffa43 - Dec 4, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    He was the one Astro I wanted them to keep when they blew up the team…. All he did was hit in the clutch… 2 hole, 300, 3 hole, 300, 4 hole 400 and many steaks (RIB EYES).. 5 hole, 300, 6 hole 300..

    NO K’s…. Sneaking a fastball by him, is like sneaking the sun past a rooster.

    He deserves the cash.

    • stex52 - Dec 5, 2012 at 8:33 AM

      I liked him as an Astro, too. But this is an overpay. Mediocre fielder, relatively low power. He rarely strikes out, true, but he almost never walks. So his historic OBP is only OK. And he does almost all of his damage against lefties. If he plays 3rd, they will look for more power.

      I actually like Kepp, in spite of the negative case I am making. But unless you assume 2011 is the new norm, I would think 2 years, 6 MM$ is quite reasonable for him.

  8. Ick McWang - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    i love Kepp and hope the rays bring him back but the reality is he put those numbers up against like 75% lefty pitching, thats what the rays do. He hit cleanup against lefties, and he almost never started against a righty, just getting pinch hit at bats late in games to help the old AB’s. He does bring a patient, professional at bat each time up, but he can’t hit a righty. His fielding is average on a good day, but on the plus side he can bring that mediocre defense to several positions.

    As a rays fan, I would bring him back, but he can take a walk thinking 3 yrs 12 million. Maybe we toss him a couple options but a 2 year deal is asking a lot, especially with the broken femur going along with it

  9. kappy32 - Dec 5, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    Anyone who gives Keppinger a deal longer that 1 year is crazy. Even dating back to his days with the Mets (another over-hyped, “can’t miss prospect” from the Mets), he couldn’t stay healthy. The dude doesn’t even hurt himself playing baseball; the clown breaks his leg falling down a flight of stairs. If you sign him for 3 years, you can expect to get about one year worth of games played. It will wind up being 1 year, $12 million; not bad for Kepp, but bad for his next team.

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