The Yankees may or may not have offered Jeff Keppinger a 3-year, $12 million deal

The Yankees missed out on Jeff Keppinger this afternoon when he signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the Chicago White Sox. It was frustrating to see them miss out on one of their top targets.

What could have happened? Good question and we don’t necessarily have the answers yet as there were conflicting reports from Jon Heyman of CBS and Buster Olney of ESPN.

Heyman reported at 4:02 today that the Yankees bid higher than the White Sox offer, but Keppinger might have picked Chicago for the preference. 31 minutes later Olney tweeted that the Yankees had never actually made an offer to Kepp. Confusing, right?

There are two potential explanations that I can see for this confusion. The first is that Heyman has Randy Levine as a source and Olney has Brian Cashman and it was Levine and not Cashman who made the offer. This makes sense because Levine’s job is similar to Cash’s with the difference that he’s more focused on filling the stadium than winning ball games. The Yankees have been taking a lot of flack recently and making a big offer to Keppinger might have been Levine’s attempt to make up for it.

We saw something similar to this in the lead up to the Yankees signing Rafael Soriano. That offseason Heyman started tweeting that the Yankees and Soriano were talking. Olney tweeted in response that there were no talks. This actually went on for a couple of days until Soriano did actually sign with the Yankees, against Cashman’s wishes.

The other explanation is a lot simpler though. Perhaps the competing reports is just that the Yankees never actually made Keppinger an offer, but that the two sides talked parameters and the Yankees let him know that they would be willing to match or beat Chicago’s offer.

Either way, we might not ever know, but those are certainly two possibilities in play. The bottom line is that the Yankees missed out on Keppinger and will have to find a third baseman somewhere else.

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