Via Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees have spoken to the Astros about infielder Jeff Keppinger with regards to their seemingly never-ending search for bench help. Rosenthal says a trade is not close, but where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
I wrote all about Keppinger over the summer and nothing’s changed. He’s a big time contact guy, walking more than he’s struck both last year as a full-time player and over his entire career. He’s unquestionably an upgrade over Eduamiro Penunez, and the only thing Jerry Hairston Jr. has on him is the ability to play the outfield and familiarity. The prospect cost should not be high, either. Keppinger is arbitration eligible for the second time this offseason ($1.15M salary in 2010), so he’d be under team control through 2012.