+1 to the Unofficial Official for this note: Dusty Baker believes the PTBNL from the Astros to complete the Keppinger deal. Baker also wants Sheffield, so here's hoping he's a moron.
Baker said during pregame warmups that the Reds could get 25-year-old shortstop Drew Sutton from the Astros in the deal. Sutton hit .317 with 20 homers and 69 RBIs in 133 games for Double-A Corpus Christi last season.
"We get a player to be named later and I assume it's going to be him," Baker said. "The Astros told me he has good skills, good talent and good speed. They told me he's a ballplayer."
Make sure you read the Unofficial Official's post on this, with opinions by MLBTR, Astros Daily, and Yours Truly.
I was trying to withhold judgment until we found out who the PTBNL was, but now I'm torn on this deal. Keppinger can play second, but I guess I was under the impression that Sutton would be replacing Matsui. Maysonet may be in a better position to be 2B1 following the 2010 season, though. There's been a lot of chatter about the lack of power in Keppinger's bat (some of it from me. Okay, a lot of it from me), but look at this, from Keppinger's ESPN Fantasy projection:
Keppinger didn't impress statistically in 2008, but keep in mind he had an extremely unlucky .223 batting average on balls in play in his home games, and he's among the best contact hitters in the game. To expect him to raise his batting average into the .290s isn't unreasonable
With decent defense and an average in the .290s, the idea may be to shift Keppinger to 2nd after Matsui's contract is up in 2010. Are you okay with a 2011 infield of Berkman, Keppinger, Maysonet and Johnson?