The New York Yankees "really want" to sign free-agent third baseman Jeff Keppinger, who is becoming more and more popular as the winter meetings go on, reports Danny Knobler of CBS Sports:
Keppinger seems to have become popular. There's talk he could get 3-year deal for $13 mill or more. Also talk that Yankees really want him.— DKnobler (@DKnobler) December 5, 2012
There was some concern before everyone arrived in Nashville that Keppinger's recent spill down the stairs at home -- which left him with a broken leg -- would hurt his market this week. That has not proven to be the case, however, as the journeyman infielder appears to be looking at a multi-year deal. Earlier reports had Keppinger's price tag at two years and $8 million, but that has apparently gone up considerably.
The Yankees may not have had serious interest in Keppinger when the week began, but with the news that Alex Rodriguez will miss the first half of next season recovering from hip surgery, an infielder who can man the hot corner became a top priority for the club.
The Yankees are believed to be one of six teams vying for Keppinger, according to Joel Sherman of the NY Post. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports adds that the Chicago White Sox are one of the teams checking in on the third baseman.
Keppinger put together a career year for the Rays in 2012, hitting .325/.367/.439 with nine home runs in 115 games split between third, first, second and designated hitter.