John Fay reports the following in the Enquirer.

The Reds swapped minor leaguers with the Kansas City Royals today, acquiring infielder Jeff Keppinger for right-hander Russ Haltiwanger.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Keppinger, the Reds designated infielder Ray Olmedo for assignment.

Keppinger, 26, hit .300 in 87 games for Triple-A Norfolk last season. After being traded from the New York Mets to the Royals, he .354 in 22 games for Triple-A Omaha. Keppinger also hit .267 with two home runs and eight RBI in 22 games for the Royals. He played 33 games for the Mets in 2004, hitting .284 with three home runs and nine RBI.

Haltiwanger, 22, was 0-4 with 4.15 ERA for Single-A Dayton last season.

Color me baffled. Why does Krivsky give up Haltiwanger and probably Olmedo, albiet he could get yet another PTBNL or cash for him if he can swing a deal, to get a player thats nearly identical, maybe a hair worse, than the one he DFA’d and dealt to Tampa for a PTBNL just a short time ago. Why didn’t they just DFA Olmedo to make room for Conine and keep Harris. Then they’d still have Haltiwanger. I don’t really mind losing either Haltiwanger or Olmedo, and Keppinger looks like he’ll be a decent bench player. I do prefer Harris over him slightly. Not a big deal. Just seems strange. Check out the following Keppinger and Harris comparison.

2006 AAA   AVG   G  AB  R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB  K SB CS  OBP  SLG  OPS
Keppinger .316 119 450 57 142 19  1  4  43 40 30  0  4 .368 .389 .757
Harris    .300 102 367 59 110 28  1 10  60 40 85  5  2 .381 .463 .844

07 Zips Projs.  P Age AVG  OBP  SLG   G  AB  R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB  K SB CS
Jeff Keppinger 2b 27 .286 .338 .360 115 419 48 120 17  1  4  35 33 27  3  3
Brendan Harris 3b 26 .258 .318 .431 127 418 64 108 25  1 15  61 32 79  3  2

I’m sure Louisville will enjoy Keppinger this summer.

UPDATE: From Baseball America:

After designating Jeff Keppinger for assignment eight days earlier, the Royals sent him to the Reds on Wednesday for Class A righthander Russell Haltiwanger.

The Royals got a possible prospect for someone they were willing to let walk.

On Keppinger:

A career .315 hitter in the minors (including .323 in Triple-A), he doesn’t do anything else particularly well. He has little power, draws few walks and isn’t much of a runner or a defender.

On Haltiwanger:

Haltiwanger has a plus fastball and flashes a promising slider, giving him a chance to become a big league reliever if he can straighten out his command.

The deal:

It’s a minor trade that could help both clubs. Keppinger might be able to stick with the Reds as an offensive-minded utilityman, while Haltiwanger is a worthwhile if unpolished arm to add for a player designated for assignment.

I still don’t see the point…