New York Yankees Should Look Into Signing Jeff Keppinger
The New York Yankees are in the market for a utility infielder, someone who can play all over the field if need be like Jayson Nix was able to do this past season.
There is a chance the Yankees could re-sign Nix who is arbitration eligible but he doesn’t offer much upside offensively. Nix hit .243 last year and did an all-around good job filling in when needed. However, he is a lifetime .214 hitter but he does have some pop in his bat.
If the Yankees decide to go another route, then Jeff Keppinger might be the best free agent option available.
Keppinger is a lefty killer, hitting them to the tune of .333 in 718 at-bats in his career. His split is pretty drastic as he hits righties at a .269 clip. It isn’t a terrible split and Joe Girardi could feel comfortable starting him against righties if needed.
Keppinger’s greatest asset might be the fact that he doesn’t strike out. Keppinger has only struck out 173 times in 2,459 at-bats. By contrast, he has walked 179 times while being a .288 career hitter.
Keppinger also has experience playing all over the field, logging 144 games at third, 297 at second, and 171 at shortstop. He also has experience in the outfield and first base.
Given the age of Derek Jeter, and the fact that he is coming off of a devastating ankle injury, and Alex Rodriguez’s health and age, it would make sense that the Yankees should pursue Jeff Keppinger. Keppinger’s biggest drawback is his lack of power but the Yankees have power to spare. Right now the only other options are Eduardo Nunez, Nix, and Ramiro Pena, who is currently a minor league free agent. Keppinger might be the best option out there is he comes at reasonable price.