Minnesota Twins: 4 potential trade fits for OF Max Kepler
By Nate Palmer
Minnesota Twins outfielder Max Kepler continues to come up in trade discussions. Here are four potential trade fits for the lefty.
The Minnesota Twins have for the past two offseasons been actively pursuing trades in an attempt to try and upgrade the roster. This offseason we are yet to see them pull off any significant trade even if there are several that have been bounced around.
Last offseason the Twins added Jake Odorizzi in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays that quite honestly still looks like an absolute steal. In a more minor move, the Twins acquired Jake Cave which to this point looks like another solid offseason trade.
A name that keeps coming up in trade possibilities is outfielder Max Kepler. Last offseason the big hope was that the Twins would land a different Rays pitcher in Chris Archer. All the rumors continue to point us to the fact that Kepler would have been at the center of that deal and that the Rays thought highly of Kepler.
Whether they are truly bonafied rumors, or just a bunch of us baseball geeks (me included) sitting around and looking for ways the Twins can improve, Kepler’s name continues to come up in trade scenarios. He is the definition of a buy low type player as he has all the tools in a row, but outside of a few flashes hasn’t been able to put the total package together.
One thing Kepler has put together is proof that he is a very good defensive outfielder. He is especially good when the Twins are able to play him in right field. Last season he proved he is also able to hold down center field. In 2018 as a center fielder Kepler recorded a +3 DRS, 2.3 UZR, and 8.1 UZR/150. Then when in right field he recorded a +7 DRS, 8.5 UZR, and 12.2 UZR/150.
What has been the big question mark is what will Kepler be as a hitter. He did top 20 home runs for the first time in his career in 2018. The consistency just hasn’t been there as he slashed .224/.319/.408. Even with all those question marks when it comes to Kepler’s bat he still had a 2.6 fWAR and a 2.8 bWAR.
All that said it seems the Twins are still high on who Kepler can develop into as an everyday outfielder. The thing is other teams could feel the same way and if the Twins want to acquire an impact player trading Kepler may be one of the best ways to do so at this point in the offseason. Here are some teams that could be interested in acquiring Kepler.