On Keppinger's status, Matsui's contract
* The Rays placed INF Jeff Keppinger on the "restricted list" so he could deal with what was described as "a personal matter" and so they would not have to play shorthanded while he was gone, which may only be for a day or two. OF Brandon Guyer was called up to take his place.
While the restricted list is typically associated with negative issues, such as age/identity fraud and the DUI arrest of Matt Bush, it can also be used for what MLB defines, broadly, as "unusual circumstances,'' which is what applied in this case. The status is only granted subject to MLB approval, so the Rays would have had to provide details for MLB to certify it.
Here is the applicable passage from Rule 15:
"The Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee may place a Major or Minor League Reserve List player on the Restricted List if the player's Club certifies that unusual circumstances exist."
Another question is whether Keppinger is getting paid for the day or two he will miss: Players on the restricted list typically are not paid, but there is, again, an exception to the rule where the player can be paid with MLB approval. With a one-year deal for $1,525,000, Keppinger makes about $9,400 per game,
* The Times obtained some details on Hideki Matsui's contract, and the Rays got somewhat of a bargain: If called up to the majors, Matsui will make a salary of about $900,000, well below his previous earnings (he made $4.25-million last season with Oakland, his lowest of his career). While at Triple-A Durham, he will make $10,000 a month, low for a veteran in the minors. He has an interpreter and manager/PR man that also get paid.