Free agent infielder Jeff Keppinger is currently recovering from a broken right fibula that he suffered at home last month when he fell down a set of stairs.
But that injury hasn’t diminished his asking price.
According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, Keppinger is looking for a three-year contract worth close to $12 million. The Yankees have made it known that they a serious level of interest, and the Diamondbacks, Cubs and Rays have been linked.
Keppinger batted .325/.367/.439 with a career-high nine home runs and 40 RBI in 418 plate appearances this past season for Tampa Bay while making appearances at third base, second base, first base and designated hitter. The 32-year-old native of Lilburn, Georgia has played some shortstop in the past.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.