Minnesota Twins: Top 5 Trade Candidates for the 2022 Offseason
Minnesota Twins Trade Candidate No. 5: Max Kepler
Max Kepler might not seem like someone the Twins would want to let go, given his above average defense, speed, and power, especially with his contract, but it may be in the Twins’ best interest to take a look at some other options.
Kepler is currently slashing an abysmal .210/.308/.429, which isn’t significantly worse than his career average of .234/.318/.442, but are among the lowest marks on the team. Of the players who have played 60 games for the team, Kepler’s average ranks 11th, his on-base percentage is tied for 8th, and his slugging percentage is 6th. That’s not great for your team’s fifth highest-paid player.
He hits homers, as he’s on pace to have his third 20-homer season, but that’s not good enough to merit a consistent starting job when two of your best young players (Kirilloff and Larnach) need outfield innings in 2022. Luis Arraez, Brent Rooker, and possibly even Jose Miranda could contend for time in the corners as well.
While he doesn’t fit perfectly with the Twins, Kepler offers good value as a trade chip. He’s under contract until 2024 at an extremely reasonable rate, and most contending teams could use a Max Kepler: A strong defender who crushes right-handed pitching. That’s good for the postseason.
Bottom line, Max Kepler is nearly 29 and will not be improving much as a player, which is the main reason he’s listed here. He could be a valuable trade asset, but if the Twins don’t get the right offer, he’s still a fan favorite and could enjoy playing out the next 2-3 years as a very solid corner outfielder. He likely won’t be moved in 2022.