The probability of the Minnesota Twins trading outfielder Max Kepler has been “significantly reduced,” the Athletic staff writer Dan Hayes wrote in a Thursday article.
Team sources said the team considered trading Max Kepler if the right deal was offered, Hayes wrote. The Twins believed the market for Kepler would “yield a return that could aid the club in other ways,” but the desired interest hasn’t been there with spring training just two weeks away.
“There’s a lot of guys who might be listed as outfielders who play other positions, or play in the infield,” Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said Friday. “With the open (designated hitter) spot and guys that could rotate through that as well, we feel like … that could be a strength of our team. Feels like we’re in a good position overall.”
The eight-year Twins outfielder earned 88 hits, 54 runs and nine home runs in 388 at-bats and 446 plate appearances in 115 games played last season, according to Baseball Reference. Max Kepler is on the fifth year of a five-year, $35 million contract with a sixth-year club option he signed with the Twins in 2019, according to Spotrac. He is slated to earn and $8.5 million base salary in 2023. The 2024 club option includes a $1 million buyout.
The Twins recently traded for outfielder Michael A. Taylor from the Kansas City Royals, adding more depth to an already talented outfield. The team is projected to have Joey Gallo in left field, Byron Buxton in the middle and Max Kepler at right field.
Gallo said he was open to playing first base.
“That’s a position I don’t really have much trouble with and I told them, ‘Whatever the team needs, I’ll play whatever,’” Gallo said. “That’s one thing I take pride in bringing to the table, bringing versatility, being able to move around the diamond.”