Yesterday I mentioned that Marc Topkin thought that the Rays may sign a right handed bench bat. Today, we have rumors that the Rays are connected to a right handed bench bat. Jerry Crasnick tweeted that the Rays are interested in Jeff Keppinger, who was non-tendered by the Giants this offseason. Keppinger would most likely be a utility man for the Rays. He has seen time at second, short, and third, so could be a good backup for the Rays.
Keppinger played in 99 games last year for the Giants and Astros, hitting .277 with six homers. That would certainly be an upgrade over Elliot Johnson, the incumbent for the utility man roster spot. I could easily see the Rays making this move to give them a reliable guy to go behind the platoon of Reid Brignac and Sean Rodriguez and provide insurance for injuries.
Rays News and Notes
- Hal Bodley of MLB.com writes about the Rays high hopes entering the 2012 season. He talks about how the Rays beat the odds last year to make the playoffs and have a greater chance this year with their starting rotation and the additions of Luke Scott and Carlos Pena.
- Michael Sasso of TBO.com writes about how the addition of light rail could mean a big jump in attendance, potentially enough to keep the Rays in Tropicana Field. Pinellas County has been talking about how adding a light rail system that eventually links up with Tampa over the Howard Franklin Bridge could alleviate some of the problems of getting to and leaving the Trop.
- Finally, FanSided’s own Call to the Pen breaks down the recent Carlos Pena signing. Lew Freedman talks about how Pena was a tad overpaid and may be coming to the end of his productive years at his age. I tend to agree with him, but as he mentions if Pena produces like he did last year, the Rays will be very happy.