The Rays added the extra bat they were looking for tonight when they signed Jeff Keppinger to a one-year deal (via Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com).

The agreement is a major league contract, so it would seem that Elliot Johnson’s chances of making the team just took a big hit. Keppinger can play both middle infield spots as well as both corner outfield spots.

In his career, Keppinger is a .324 hitter with a .371 OBP against left-handed pitchers. So there is a good chance Keppinger will be the starting second baseman or shortstop on days a lefty is on the mound.

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10 Comments

  1. Alex says:

    I like it. He will definitely bolster our line up vs LH which we've obviously had trouble with since 08. We were already set against RH. And a little less Brignac/Johnson will be just fine with me. If they can sign one more vet to back up SS/2B/3B that can hit against RH then I'm all for that as well

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  2. Matt (Boxauthor) says:

    Um . . . one more reason to move the Rays from FL??

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/florida-law-turn-ballparks-homeless-shelters-151458504.html

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  3. LSX says:

    Great move by the Rays! He should be a great fit; definitely an upgrade offensively!

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  4. Ken Heller says:

    Like it too. Hope Guyer has a hot spring and takes Fuld's spot. Still would like to see a package of Nieman/Davis, Brignac and another minor league pitcher sent to a team that has a AA top 50 catcher.

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  5. Joe says:

    Team is looking really nice. It's not do or die but we can use another catcher and hopefully one will be involved in our SP trade. Trading a SP is the only move I see left to make but of course, never know what Friedman has up his sleeve. All the additions have been quiet until they are done deals.

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  6. Matt says:

    Looks like Keppinger will start at 2nd base on opening day then. Sabathia is a lefty so it makes sense kepp will be at 2nd with Zobrist in right.

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  7. Hal says:

    Bench (versus righties)?:
    Other catcher
    Keppinger
    Fuld / Guyer
    S. Rod ( I guess assuming Briggy's on the team)
    Canzler / Fuld

    I love Fuld as a 4th outfielder and bench guy - but if Guyer has a great Spring... My guess is that Guyer's in Durham to start the season, Fuld gives speed, defense, and he did a good job pinch-hitting last year - perfect guy to have on the bench. The more I look at it, the more Ilike the idea of Canzler against lefties and getting 30 to 50 starts at first.

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  8. Don says:

    I heard Keppinger can play 1st...perfect aga. lefties, Pena to pinch hitter for late innings relief pitcher(right hander)

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  9. Nathan says:

    This is the ideal under the radar pickup to put a team over the next hump. Don't be surprised when Maddon finds a spot for him in the lineup everyday. Rodriguez is going to have to compete for playing time. Brignac should probably be packaged with Neimann for a solid catching prospect.

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  10. Beth says:

    Anyone know what we're paying him?

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