New York's pursuit of infielders has some believing that the Yankees are planning on shifting third baseman Alex Rodriguez to designated hitter. However, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman quickly shot down those rumors.
"There is no discussion whatsoever about Alex transitioning from third base to DH, part-time DH, first base or any other position on the field," said Cashman. "As we approach anyone in the free-agent market or anyone in trades, we're making sure we have insurance policies, (asking) our what-ifs?"
With A-Rod and shortstop Derek Jeter both in their late 30's, the Yankees would like to have a proven backup to step in and allow the aging veterans to take days off or DH occasionally. Jayson Nix and Eduardo Nunez are New York's current utility infielders.
In addition to Keppinger, the Yankees have also shown interest in free agent shortstop Stephen Drew. Rosenthal notes free agent Marco Scutaro and Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta as other potential options for the Yankees.
Keppinger hit .325 with nine home runs and 40 RBI last season for the Tampa Bay Rays. The 32 year-old utility man has a career .288 batting average through eight seasons, spending time with the New York Mets, Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants, and Rays.
His primary position has been second base, though he has played over 150 career games at both shortstop and third base. He has also played 35 career games as a first baseman and five games as an outfielder.
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