Update: While I was writing this Bill Hall signed with the Astros. This potentially makes Keppinger even more available as the ‘Stros have less of a need for him. I suppose right now if the Yankees are looking for a super utility type then it is between Keppinger and Jerry Hairston Jr.
Original post: Via Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:
The Yankees, searching for bench help, have spoken with the Astros about infielder Jeff Keppinger, according to major-league sources.
A trade does not appear close, but the teams have engaged in recent discussions, one source said.
Keppinger hit .288 last season with a .744 OPS. He plays all of the infield position and while he has some experience in the outfield, he’s not really an option out there with only five games experience throughout his entire career.
The idea behind trading for Keppinger seems to be that he would be a cheaper alternative to Bill Hall. Hall is likely to get a multi-year option worth at least a few million a year. Keppinger will cost only a mid-level prospect and even though he is expected to get a raise on the $1.15 million he earned last season it would still be cheaper annually than what Hall will command.
It would be nice if the Yankees got both players. One to man the outfield and the other to take care of the infield duties. That way if either struggled there would be no regret that they made the wrong choice. If they do go with one player Hall seems to be the better choice if the financial side is ignored. He has more versatility and way more power potential in his bat.
What do you think? Should the Yankees save some money for a potential big move later on by trading for Keppinger? Or should they go after Hall because of the impact his power could make off the bench?