Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays sign utilityman Jeff Keppinger

ST. PETERSBURG — Jeff Keppinger not only knows what he's getting into with the Rays, he likes the sound of it.

Having spent most of his career in the middle infield, Keppinger signed Friday — getting a one-year deal for $1.525 million plus incentives — to be the next product of the Tampa Bay superutilityman factory. Russ Canzler was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

"I'm up for anything," Keppinger said. "I like that prospect rather than a team just limiting me to be a backup at one position, so that kind of attracted me the most."

Though he has made only eight appearances at first base and five in the outfield, and though the Giants let him go because they believed he wasn't good enough at shortstop, Keppinger, 31, said he can handle whatever the Rays have for him.

"I know there's a lot of talk that people tell me I'm limited at playing certain positions, but I don't feel that way. I just go out and do the best I can," he said.

The Rays like his versatility, executive vice president Andrew Friedman saying in a statement that Keppinger will "make an impact in many different ways."

But even more so for his bat, specifically against left-handed pitchers, with a career .321 average and .850 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. Also, Keppinger is a high-contact hitter, striking out only 142 times in 2,287 career plate appearances.

CAMP JOYCE: Outfielder Matt Joyce will host the Sweet Swing Baseball Camp, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, at the North Brandon Little League (2915 Kings Highway, Seffner). Cost is $100, with no preregistration required.

Selig sees expanded playoff this season

Commissioner Bud Selig expects baseball to expand its playoffs this season.

Players and owners have already agreed to add another wild-card team in each league but are still deciding whether it would take effect this year or 2013. Selig said there are scheduling issues to be worked out.

"I really believe we'll have the wild card for 2012, this year," he said at a White Sox fan festival. "Clubs really want it."

Meanwhile, players and owners reached an understanding that ties for division titles will be broken on the field under the new format, the Associated Press reported. Since 1995, head-to-head record has been used to determine first place if both teams make the playoffs. But with the start of a one-game wild-card round, it was agreed the difference between first and a wild-card berth is too vital to decide with a formula.

Dodgers Bids: Hedge fund head Steven Cohen and groups that include former manager Joe Torre and former basketball star Magic Johnson have survived the first round of cuts, the Los Angeles Times reported, in bidding for the Dodgers, which were put in bankruptcy by owner Frank McCourt. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban did not make the cut, the newspaper reported. More than 12 groups submitted initial bids. It was unclear how many advanced to the next stage.

Giants: Utility infielder Ryan Theriot, 32, agreed to a one-year, $1.25 million deal. … Pitcher Tim Lincecum passed his physical and officially signed his $40.5 million, two-year contract.

Phillies: Outfielder Hunter Pence agreed to a one-year deal worth $10.4 million.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Tampa Bay Rays sign utilityman Jeff Keppinger 01/27/12 [Last modified: Saturday, January 28, 2012 12:16am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)


    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  2. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater


    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  3. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip


    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.
  5. Bucs raise prices for single tickets to marquee games


    The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.

    Bucs fans cheer Jameis Winston after a victory in their final home game of the 2016 season. Individual tickets for the Bucs' three most coveted home games (against the Patriots, Bears and Giants) will cost more in 2017.