0

Giants don't tender contract to Keppinger

Jeff Keppinger, traded five times, will now get to pick his team. The key, though, will be finding one that is interested.

The former Parkview and Georgia standout became a free agent when he wasn't tendered a contract by the San Francisco Giants, who didn't want to go to arbitration with the veteran infielder.

Keppinger, 31, was acquired from Houston last July after the Giants lost second baseman Freddy Sanchez with a shoulder injury. It looked like a good fit, but Keppinger was sidelined for awhile himself and the defending World Series champions missed the playoffs.

With Keppinger and Mike Fontenot available as potential infield insurance for next season, the Giants decided on the less-costly Fontenot and re-signed the former Chicago Cub to a one-year deal.

Keppinger, who made $2.3 million last season, has a .281 career average in the majors after batting a combined .277 with the Astros and Giants in 2011.

One of the toughest hitters in the majors to strike out, Keppinger hit .288 in 2010 for Houston with career highs in games (139), runs (62), hits (148), doubles (34), RBIs (59) and walks (51).

But Keppinger had offseason foot surgery and missed the first month last season with the Astros. Hitting .307 for Houston when traded to San Francisco, he tailed off to .255 with the Giants.

Orginally drafted by Pittsburgh, Keppinger has played for the New York Mets, Kansas City and Cincinnati in addition to the Astros and Giants. His best batting average was .332 over 67 games for the Reds in 2007.