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.

20 Responses

  1. Sultan of Swaff

    Welcome to the hot seat, Mr. Hairston. He’s going to be asked to do a lot more now, especially if EdE and Gonzo are gimpy. For the record, I’m not sold on Rosales playing more than twice week.

  2. KY Chip

    Matthews, Jr can stay in California. He’s currently the Angels’ 5th OFer.

    No thanks — not at that price.

  3. pinson343

    I like Keppinger and was happy when we picked him up. I knew he could hit from watching him with the Mets. This could obviously turn out to be a mistake, if he regains his hitting stroke.

    But with the current emphasis on defense, he wasn’t going to be playing SS any more, and it seems like the Reds are high on Rosales as the utility IFer.

    Part of the equation is that Dusty thinks highly of Hairston.

    We won’t get much in return, but a minor league picher with some upside would be nice.

  4. Travis G.

    Fare thee well, Kepp, but seriously, folks: The dude’s almost 29 years old and flat-out cannot hit right-handers (.258/.309/.336 vs. RH, .351/.403/.515 vs. LH).

  5. Matt Steele

    Though I understood his limitations, I always liked Keppinger. Best of luck to him in the future.

    As for Gary Mathews…. Are we seriously trying to make dumb trades to jeopardize our future?

    Though I’m glad the Reds said that there wasn’t anything to the report… still… it makes me cringe

  6. earl

    I hope this is some Angels fan wishful thinking.

    I also hope Keppinger doesn’t turn out to be a big pest when we play the Astros.

    Adam Rosales seems to maybe be a similar player as Keppinger, so who knows.

  7. Y-City Jim

    Matthews is nothing better than what eh Reds already have on their roster. If you’re trading Harang or Arroyo get something in return of value.

  8. brublejr

    1. I love Kepp, but he hasn’t been the same since the injury last year, he’s 29 and Rosales is basically the same player. The only thing I really hate about this trade is that by going to Houston I hope he doesn’t play like Bill Hall everytime he plays against the Reds. I wish him well, and hopes he plays great against anybody but the Reds.

    2. I wouldn’t take on Gary Matthews Jr. for free. They paid all the contact and give nothing up for him, I still wouldn’t want him. He was a 1 year wonder in a hitter’s park that got overpaid beyond belief.

    3. I think this is just the beginning of trades this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if 2 or 3 more are traded by the deadline this year to clear room for extensions and locking up the young guys. I hope a closer goes down around deadline to get rid of Coco to really clear room to make improvements for next year.

  9. Tom Diesman

    I’m sorry to see Keppinger go, I thought he’d be a valuable guy on the bench this season playing all around the infield and providing a RH pinch hitter who makes great contact. I hope he get an opportunity to play a lot with Houston. I don’t expect much back at all in the trade.

    Gary Matthews Jr.? Thank heaven the Reds say there is no truth to that. Now if they want to offer up Brandon Wood and Reggie Willits, neither of whom they have a spot for, in return for Bronson Arroyo, we got a deal.

  10. Chris

    Keppinger can hit. Last year’s injury really sapped his hitting, and his defense, for that matter. Kepp can be Mark Grudzielanek, if anyone would give him a chance.

  11. Fireball44

    Actually, if I had the choice between Matthews and Taveras for the same price, I’d take Matthews. They have a similar OBP, but Matthews has more power. Plus, I think Matthews is a better defender.

    That being said, I sure wouldn’t give up ANYTHING for Matthews.

  12. Matt Steele

    haha well yeah, I’d trade Willy for Mathews Jr straight up, if salaries/contracts were equal

  13. Matt B.

    Correction: Barry Zito is the most overpaid player in the majors.

  14. Matt B.

    Wily Mo Pena was released, too. If the Reds didn’t already have Gomes, I’d say they should at least give him a chance.

  15. Mike Martz

    I’m gonna miss watching Keppinger play ball! I was hoping he could turn his batting around before it was too late.

  16. per14

    I probably would not have traded Kepp. Most likely, his career is probably going to wash out. So be it. But, there is a decent chance he regains his stroke and turns into a pretty valuable role player. The Reds don’t lose anything by seeing if that chance pans out. I wonder what they’ll get in return for him.

  17. per14

    Bring back Wily Mo? Interesting. I suppose he’s a lot like Gomes.

  18. GRF

    Will miss Keppinger, I thought he rushed back from the injury and had some up side as a utility guy if he got healthy again. Any word on the potential PTBNL? The Astros system is so so down and can’t imagine getting anything back beyond an open spot on the 40 man roster.

  19. Tom Diesman

    I saw that Dallas McPherson was released by the Marlins. He’s had a big bat in the minors and been derailed by injuries of late. He has a great full season at AAA last season. Is he healthy now and is he a decent fielding 3B? If so, he could be an interesting pickup.

  20. Cora

    I heard from a source today that Rosales will be moved down to AAA again so it looks like Janish is up but I have to say that I’m sad to see Rosales go. I hope to see him again in the near future…he’s got a lot of talent.