Couple of rumors out there….

First, Jayson Stark had this note:

Here’s a potential trade target to keep an eye on in the next few days: Jeff Keppinger. The Reds are dangling his name to see what’s out there. We’re hearing the Red Sox and Astros have at least kicked the tires.

We’ve discussed the potential for Kepp to be traded here at RN previously. With Alex Gonzalez being hurt (again), I really wonder whether it would be a smart move to part with Keppinger. Maybe Dusty is down on him because Kepp really hasn’t hit since he was hurt last year, but Keppinger can be a valuable player if used correctly. I fear that the absence of Keppinger would mean a lot of Jerry Hairston at shortstop.

I agree with the take of the loyal reader who tipped us off to the Stark item: “I guess I would have to see what they can get for him, but Kepp seems a pretty integral part of the team, especially with Gonzalez iffy.”

It appears that Keppinger has actually been traded, to the Astros for the ever-popular player to be named later. Welcome to the majors, Paul Janish and/or Adam Rosales.

–File this one under the “Oh, please, NO!” category:

The Angels recently had conversations with the Reds about a trade involving center fielder Gary Matthews Jr. for one of the Reds’ starting pitchers, but the talks broke down, according to a report by …

The biggest obstacle is Matthews’ contract, as he is owed $33 million over the next three seasons. It matches up well, however, with those of Reds pitchers Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo, who are owed $36.2 and $31.5 million over the same time period, respectively.

Sources told, though, that the Reds would want a starting pitcher in return from the Angels in addition to Matthews.

I’d be surprised if anything came of this, but just the thought is scary enough. Matthews is the most overpaid player in the majors. He’s a fifth outfielder for LAnaheim. No thanks. I prefer Willy Taveras.

For what it’s worth, the Reds say there’s nothing to this report.