UPDATE: Rays reach contract with infielder Jeff Keppinger

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From Marc Topkin of the newly-named Tampa Bay Times comes word that the Rays are “closing in on a major-league deal” with infielder Jeff Keppinger.

An agreement could be finalized later this week.

Keppinger batted just .277/.300/.377 with six home runs and 35 RBI across 399 plate appearances last season between the Astros and Giants, and he turns 32 years old in April. But the former fourth-round draft pick is capable of playing all over the infield and he owns an .852 career OPS vs. left-handed pitchers.

The Rays will likely throw him into their rotation of middle infielders, using him primarly against southpaws.

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UPDATE, 9:43 PM: ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick says it’s done. Keppinger gets a one-year major league deal.

Daniel Murphy had microfracture surgery on his right knee

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The Nationals announced today that second baseman Daniel Murphy had surgery on his right knee. The surgery: a debridement and microfracture procedure, which is pretty major.

The team’s comment about Murphy’s prognosis makes it sound major too: “rehab will begin immediately and will progress throughout the offseason.” No timetable. Just that it “will progress.” Well, I’d hope so. Let’s see if he’s ready for spring training.

Murphy hit .322/.384/.543, hit 23 homers and knocked in 93 RBI. Assuming he’s ready for the 2018 season, he’ll ply his trade for a new manager.