After finally ending the miserable 19-year playoff losing streak, the Minnesota Twins enter the offseason with monumental expectations.
The thick fog of the curse has lifted, and Twins fans have their eyes set on World Series contention moving forward. It’s not as lofty a goal as it might have seemed in years past, as the Twins showed the type of fight and talent in October that suggested the playoff streak being squashed was the beginning of something rather than the end.
That’s why there’s so much pressure on the front office to nail the offseason.
Minnesota has already announced the payroll will be slashed by roughly $20 million, which isn’t exactly the most exciting start to Hot Stove SZN. With a drastically reduced payroll, the front office will have to get creative in how it improves the roster this offseason which likely means trades will be leaned on as a way of adding talent more so than they have before.
If that’s the route the Twins go, there are more than a few valuable trade chips the team could flip.
5 Twins who could be used as trade chips this offseason
Max Kepler, OF
We've heard Max Kepler's name pop up more and more in trade rumors, and it's starting to feel like his time in Minnesota is over. There's a ton of outfield talent already in place and more on the way with what's bubbling under the Major League surface.
Already the team has Matt Wallner, Byron Buxton, Trevor Larnach, and Willi Castro in the outfield and could easily bring back Nick Gordon. There's also the potential that Austin Martin makes the Opening Day roster and the emergence of Emmanuel Rodriguez looms in 2025 -- if not sooner.
Kepler doesn't need to be traded, but corner outfielders will be hard to come by this offseason. Finding a good bat will also be difficult for teams, which boosts Kepler's value and could help the Twins flip him for pitching help it greatly desires.