Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Jeff Keppinger broke a bone in his leg but says he will be ready by the start of spring training.
But more importantly, Heyman says in the same report that it is a strong off-season for part-time, yet productive players like Keppinger. Heyman points to the two-year, $10 million contract Jonny Gomes signed with the Red Sox as evidence that teams are now willing to write big checks to part-time players.
Of course, this should scare the Rays who run a system based on maximizing the contributions of low-cost, part-time players, and love underpaying for players that have good splits, but whose overall numbers may not be very impressive.
If the Rays can no longer find value in the free agent market among part-time players, it may become even more imperative that they trade a starting pitcher for offfensive production.
Here are a few more links to push us into the afternoon…
- Mark Topkin has the details on Evan Longoria’s new contract which will eventually reach a salary of $19.5 million in 2022. [TampaBay.com]
- Buster Olney reports that the Rays, along with the Cubs and Diamondbacks, have been “aggressive” on Jeff Keppinger. [Twitter]
- The Rays are one of seven teams that have reportedly shown interest in Shane Victorino. [MLBTR]
- According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, BJ Upton preferred the Phillies when the off-season began, but became much more interested in the Braves after meeting with them two weeks ago. [MLB.com]