Jeff Keppinger broke his foot this offseason, but he is expected to make a full recovery before the season starts and it hasn’t cooled the Yankees, or anybody else’s, interest in him, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Keppinger, 33 by the end of April, is one of those players that the Yankees are always interested in and this offseason is no different. It’s not hard to see why either as Kepp, who is coming off a season where he hit .325/.367/.439 for the Rays, is a rare utility infielder that can actually hit. He has played every infield position and left field during his career and his 97 OPS+ would be great off the bench.
Now that Alex Rodriguez is expected to miss about half the season it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Yankees up their aggressiveness to sign Keppinger although it still seems unlikely they would offer him a multi-year deal.
There are other options available if the Yankees are just looking for a third baseman though, like Eric Chavez, Mark Reynolds, and Kevin Youkilis to name a few, but Keppinger provides more roster flexibility and despite his injury more injury certainty than any of those players save Reynolds. So while the Yankees could use him to replace A-Rod early on they could also slot him into shortstop, left field, and first base if needed.
Keppinger has played in parts of eight seasons and has hit .288/.337/.396 during his career. He does hit lefties better than righties, he posted a .376/.402/.521 line against southpaws last year, so he isn’t an ideal platoon candidate for A-Rod or Jeter who both hit lefties better than righties.