4 potential trade destinations for Max Kepler

Max Kepler might be used as a trade chip this winter, and a few teams make sense as potential destinations.
Division Series - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game Three
Division Series - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game Three / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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San Diego Padres

A few years ago it felt like the San Diego Padres were about to be the next team to arrive as a perennial World Series contender. They had a roster of young talent all coming together at the right time and made huge splashy moves to try and buy their way to the top.

It's a plan that has so far failed spectacularly, but all hope is not lost. This past season was a true bottoming out, as clubhouse drama led to a managerial change and the general indication that all hell was breaking loose in all the wrong ways. Still, the team has talent like Fernando Tatis Jr., Xander Bogaerts, and Juan Soto, as well as some young talent to throw around in other positions.

Kepler could help unclog a situation in the outfield.

Last year Tatis manned right field and seemed to settle into an outfield role rather nicely. San Diego trading for Kepler would allow the Padres to move Tatis to center and move Trent Grisham elsewhere. It would create an outfield trio of Soto-Tatis-Kepler, which seems pretty good on paper and might be even better if things all fall into place.

Kepler doesn't have to be pinned down in right field, either. If the Padres want to keep Tatis there, Kepler can move around the outfield or slot in as the DH if the team wants to play Manny Machado in the field. San Diego has options if they make a move for Kepler, and given the progress the team needs to make it seems like a wise decision to make.