Report: Twins, Kepler Finalizing Extension
Image courtesy of Peter G. Aiken, USA TodaySigned just nine days after Jorge Polanco in July of 2009, the German-born Max Kepler is finalizing the terms on a contract extension.
Phil Miller has more specifics on the deal with includes bumping up his 2019 salary significantly.
He gradually worked his way up the minor league system, spending a second year at Elizabethton. He was the Twins minor league player of the year when he was named MVP of the Southern League in 2015.
After the Lookouts won that Southern League title, he was called up to the big leagues and singled off of Johnny Cueto (then of the Royals) for his first major-league hit.
He came back up to the Twins in early 2016 and since mid-season that year, he has been a fixture in the Twins lineup.
A terrific defensive right fielder, Kepler also showed that he can play a quality centerfield as well.
Offensively, he hit a career-high 20 homers in 2018. While his batting average dropped to .224 in 2018, he showed improvement against left-handed pitching and walked much more.
Kepler just recently turned 26 and has been able to remain healthy through his early career.
Last month, he agreed to a $3.125 million contract in his first of four arbitration years. With this deal, the Twins have bought out his four arbitration seasons plus one year of free agency and allowed for a second year.
A 10:00 Eastern time press conference is scheduled in Ft. Myers. Could more extensions be in the works?
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