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What if we trade Kepler?

Posted by mikelink45 , 17 November 2019 · 2,285 views

What if we trade Kepler? I am not advocating trading him, but I have read so many trade Rosario scenarios I began to wonder what would happen if we took another of our players and put them out there. Admittedly Betts is the FA RF that will dominate all discussions, but what would Kepler bring us?

Here are his basic stats for the MLB career and a comparison with his MIB stats.

The first note is that he had not matched his MILB stats in the first three years, but he did last year - OBP/S/OPS. Is this his next platform from which he will continue to get better? His third year was a drop from his first and second so it has not been a steady rise.

The columns are BA, games, AB, R, H, 2B, 3B,HR,RBI, BB, K, SB, CS, OBP, S, OPS

2016 23 Minnesota AL MAJ .235 113 396 52 93 20 2 17 63 42 93 6 2 2 .309 .424 .734
2017 24 Minnesota AL MAJ .243 147 511 67 124 32 2 19 69 47 114 6 1 5 .312 .425 .737
2018 25 Minnesota AL MAJ .224 156 532 80 119 30 4 20 58 71 96 4 5 8 .319 .408 .727
2019 26 Minnesota AL MAJ .255 135 529 103 135 34 0 37 92 61 100 2 4 5 .339 .529 .868
Minor League Totals .281 457 1704 268 479 102 37 35 273 206 301 42 9 21 .363 .446 .809
Major League Totals .239 554 1975 302 472 116 8 93 282 221 406 18 12 20 .320 .447 .767

This is from https://www.baseball...013/max-kepler/

Despite his injuries at the end of the season he was second to Polanco in PA - Rosario was third on the Twins. Cruz was fourth.

In Runs scored - Polanco was first 107, Kepler second 98, Rosario was third 91 - I guess he did get on base, and Cruz was fourth with 81.

In hits it was Polanco, Rosario, Cruz and Kepler was fourth.

In HR with 36 he was second to Cruz and followed by Sano and Rosario.

IN RBIs he was third behind Rosario and Cruz.

In strikeouts he was sixth which is good - Sano despite missing part of the season was still number one, followed by Cruz, Polanco and Schoop. Rosario was 10th in the team.

BA he was 9th (Rosario was 4th) behind Arraez and Cruz at the top.

He was number 6 on the team in OBP while Rosario is 10th.

Slugging he was 4th on the Twins at 519 and Rosario was 5th at 500
In total bases it is Polanco, Cruz, Kepler, Rosario.

There is the batting comparisons. In WAR, Kepler is 4 and Rosario is 13 - there are pitchers in the WAR list. So Eddie is hurt by fielding comparisons.

Rotographs https://fantasy.fang...field-rankings/ has Rosario ranked number 29 among all MLB outfielders. Kepler is 48. And Buxton is 44.

New Arena ranked the Twins OF - number 14 out of all the MLB clubs - coming in to last season they wrote, "Combined ’18 WAR: 6.1 https://newarena.com...-worst-to-best/
If you don’t follow the Minnesota Twins or one of their rivals in the American League Central, you are probably unaware of the talent roaming the outfield at Target Field. Eddie Rosario has been a very good player the past two years for the Twins — posting a two-year average of 26 HR, 78 RBI, .289/.326/.493. As a regular in left, Rosario saved six defensive runs last year. Byron Buxton, the most talented of the bunch, is set to return to the starting lineup after appearing in just 28 games a season ago. Buxton is a five-tool player with the potential to be one of baseball’s best players when he puts it all together. He possesses top-notch speed, a great hit tool, and superior defensive ability. Still only 25 years old, Buxton has time to hit his stride. Occupying the other corner outfield position is Max Kepler. Kepler is good for around 20 homers per year, but also 100 strikeouts. Kepler had a great year in the field in ’18, saving 10 defensive runs."

Now that I have put together the information I can find (I am not an advanced stat head - sorry, you can fill that in) you have seen in various TD articles trades with Rosario in the deal. Now put Kepler in and what do we get? Does he have the same perceived value to others that he does with the Twins?




Any trade of Kepler would have to include a plan for a backup CF, given Buxton's history. I don't want Cave out there for more than 30 games.

    • TopGunn#22 and mikelink45 like this

 

Any trade of Kepler would have to include a plan for a backup CF, given Buxton's history. I don't want Cave out there for more than 30 games.

We are already in need of a good back up CF

    • Platoon likes this

Why trade Kepler when he is signed to a fairly team friendly contract if he continues to perform?

    • TopGunn#22, alphanumeric and Dman like this

Right now he is a team friendly guy. Considertion can be given depending on Buxton results and what happens to Rosario. But see his status as improving. 

 

Why trade Kepler when he is signed to a fairly team friendly contract if he continues to perform?

The only reason you would trade him is if the value received was more important to the team, like a number one or two rotation arm. Just like the talk about trading Rosario, the question is - what is either really worth on the open market.

    • Oldgoat_MN and Tomj14 like this

 

Right now he is a team friendly guy. Considertion can be given depending on Buxton results and what happens to Rosario. But see his status as improving. 

The friendly contracts are worth much more on the open market making the return much better.

    • bighat and jkcarew like this
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tony&rodney
Nov 17 2019 02:23 PM

Refreshing change of thinking. Yes, if trades are to be made, all players need to be evaluated for their return. Too much focus on Rosario when Garver, Sano or others might bring the plus needed for the Twins. I am not advocating a trade of any specific player but an open approach to the evaluations. 

I am hopeful that the budget is open to a $130-145 million.

    • mikelink45 and In My La-Z-boy like this

Team friendly contract, CF protection for Buxton injuries, more power, gets on base at a much better clip, runs better (both the bases and in the outfield).That's why you keep Kepler and trade Eddie.Maybe in 2022, when Larnach and Kiriloff are both raking and you're set at 1B with Sano or Rooker...maybe then you trade Kepler.But there's very good reasons "everyone" is discussing Eddie in trade scenarios instead of Max.And we've just listed them.

    • mikelink45 likes this
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tony&rodney
Nov 17 2019 06:07 PM

Agree, I am not a fan of trading Kepler for all those reasons mentioned. Still, management needs to look around and listen to every scenario. A previous poster mentioned a trade for Luis Castillo (with a WHIP of 1.14 and a .202 ba vs him). The Reds have a third baseman but need a catcher and are low on outfield prospects. Now I don't know why Cincy would consider trading Castillo, but perhaps Garver, Larnach, and maybe something like Thorpe might gain their interest. Garver was fantastic and there isn't much to complain about him, yet Castillo is a top starting pitcher. If the budget allows $140- $150 million, then signing two FA is more appealing. I hope the front office can turn over all the stones and patch together a pitching staff. A trade seems likely and Rosario is just one option.

    • TopGunn#22 and mikelink45 like this

 

Team friendly contract, CF protection for Buxton injuries, more power, gets on base at a much better clip, runs better (both the bases and in the outfield).That's why you keep Kepler and trade Eddie.Maybe in 2022, when Larnach and Kiriloff are both raking and you're set at 1B with Sano or Rooker...maybe then you trade Kepler.But there's very good reasons "everyone" is discussing Eddie in trade scenarios instead of Max.And we've just listed them.

That supposition needs to be tested by what we can acquire and what that player would mean to our potential success

 

    • TopGunn#22 likes this

 

Why trade Kepler when he is signed to a fairly team friendly contract if he continues to perform?

 

That "team friendly contract" is exactly what makes him so valuable.

    • mikelink45, jkcarew and In My La-Z-boy like this
No matter which player anyone proposes to trade, there is an argument to be made to keep said "can't let him leave" guy. The question simply should be, can you get something you need more desperately for said player, and do you have a reasonable replacement. Without knowing the other end of a deal, that's an impossible calculation. But the fact is the Twins need SP. to get it someone will have to go. Thinking JP will spend the money to acquire a top end FA SP is an exercise in self deception. As it stands currently, next years team will greatly resemble this years in manner of construction. But will that formula garner another 100 wins? No one knows, but relying on the types of offensive seasons that so many players produced to replicate itself, is a questionable philosophy.
    • mikelink45 and Tomj14 like this

It doesn't make a ton of sense to trade Kepler to me.He is on a team friendly contract, has a better OBP and OPS than Rosario, and he is a top of the line defender in right field.It would take a Chris Sale type pitcher and then some to pry him a way IMO.

 

The other thing is we don't really have a great replacement for what Kepler does.I mean you could throw Cave over there but long term I am not sure we have a good replacement for Kepler in the system.At least not from a defensive standpoint.He is also a nice backup for Buxton as he graded pretty well in center when he played there.

 

I guess if the right deal came along he could be traded but it would have to be for some very good assets IMO.

    • railmarshalljon likes this

 

It doesn't make a ton of sense to trade Kepler to me.He is on a team friendly contract, has a better OBP and OPS than Rosario, and he is a top of the line defender in right field.It would take a Chris Sale type pitcher and then some to pry him a way IMO.

 

The other thing is we don't really have a great replacement for what Kepler does.I mean you could throw Cave over there but long term I am not sure we have a good replacement for Kepler in the system.At least not from a defensive standpoint.He is also a nice backup for Buxton as he graded pretty well in center when he played there.

 

I guess if the right deal came along he could be traded but it would have to be for some very good assets IMO.

If you consider him better than Rosario and that his deal is team friendly then he is the kind of player who can get us a better trade.We do have Larnach, Kiriloff, Rooker who can play RF if we trade and gain a valuable starting pitcher.

 

But then this blog is not asking to trade him.I just want to ask what he is worth on the open market.I see so many wanting to trade Rosario and then saying he isn't that good.If so, what does he get us in a trade?  

Ultimately you must trade value to get value and I think we should have this discussion about other Twins position players as well. 

 

If you consider him better than Rosario and that his deal is team friendly then he is the kind of player who can get us a better trade.We do have Larnach, Kiriloff, Rooker who can play RF if we trade and gain a valuable starting pitcher.

 

But then this blog is not asking to trade him.I just want to ask what he is worth on the open market.I see so many wanting to trade Rosario and then saying he isn't that good.If so, what does he get us in a trade?  

Ultimately you must trade value to get value and I think we should have this discussion about other Twins position players as well. 

 

Agreed.I think given his offensive and defensive numbers plus the contract should net top of the rotation pitching IMO.

 

You will have to give up a fair amount of Defensive value in right field with Kirillof, Rooker and Larnach.They all seem better suited to left or 1st base if you ask me.Larnach and Kirillof were projected as possible right fielders as I believe they have the arm to play there but the dropoff defensively from Kepler seems substantial IMO. In left there wouldn't be as much of a dropoff and possibly an improvement.

    • mikelink45 likes this

 

Agreed.I think given his offensive and defensive numbers plus the contract should net top of the rotation pitching IMO.

 

You will have to give up a fair amount of Defensive value in right field with Kirillof, Rooker and Larnach.They all seem better suited to left or 1st base if you ask me.Larnach and Kirillof were projected as possible right fielders as I believe they have the arm to play there but the dropoff defensively from Kepler seems substantial IMO. In left there wouldn't be as much of a dropoff and possibly an improvement.

I think a trade will change the team a lot and you are right both seem more like LFers but have been projected to RF.  

Many of the arguments for not trading Kepler...he's better than Rosario, he's got a team-friendly contract, he can play center field, he's coming off a career year...These are all reasons Kepler would provide more/better pitching in a trade.

 

Having said that, given Buxton's history, and Rosario's inconsistency...you can only trade Kepler at this particular point in time if you LOVE you some Alex Kirilloff...and probably some Brent Rooker for that matter. I don't think you can love either quite that much...not yet, anyway.

 

 

    • mikelink45 likes this
What?? Me and my female friends so enjoy watching him play...and he is a good player too!
    • mikelink45 likes this

 

What?? Me and my female friends so enjoy watching him play...and he is a good player too!

Maybe we can trade him for George Clooney or Hugh Jackman