Very early this morning, Buster Olney Tweetedthat the Cubs were among three teams interested in infielder Jeff Keppinger prior to his leg break. Cubs fans may remember Keppinger as a bit of a thorn in Chicago’s side during his time with the Reds and Astros. The infielder posted solid numbers with the Rays last season, including a .325 batting average/.367 OBP/9 HR/40 RBI.
Sep 28, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Jeff Keppinger (7) throws out Chicago White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis (not pictured) during the first inning at US Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE
On defense, Keppinger split time between first, second, and third base. He is noticeably better at the plate against left handed hitters, but holds his own against right handed pitchers as well. An easy comparison would be with recent ex Cub Jeff Baker. Keppinger would be yet another option at third base if signed, considering Ian Stewart is struggling to over come injury and Josh Vitters is not ready for the Major Leagues yet. At the very least, Keppinger would provide depth as an infield super utility player.
Word is that the Cubs are up against the Diamondbacks and Rays for Keppinger’s services. The Yankees may be another team interested as well. Despite the Winter Meetings still almost a week away, the Cubs front office is already heating up with activity. Stay tuned.