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Article: Rundown: On Trading Kepler, DRC+, LeMahieu and More

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#21 jud6312

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 05:02 PM

If Kirilloff was banging on the door this spring, I'd be more open to trading Kepler, who I still think is on the verge of big things.

 

But if his replacement comes from the pool of Cave, Wade, Granite, and Reed, then count me out.

 

As it stands now, if Buxton flames out again, you've got Rosario, Cave, and Kepler, which isn't ideal, but you could get by with it.

 

But if you trade Kepler, are you really ready to roll with Rosario, Cave, and Granite?

 

What if Cave turns back into a pumpkin? Rosario, Granite, Wade? Can you trust Granite after a bad/wasted year? Can you trust Wade to make the jump and produce? Do you trust that Michael Reed is anything more than a AAAA player?

 

Unless there's a better backup plan than any of those four, or the return in a Kepler trade is too good to pass down, I'm passing. 

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#22 Vanimal46

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 05:57 PM

If Kirilloff was banging on the door this spring, I'd be more open to trading Kepler, who I still think is on the verge of big things.

But if his replacement comes from the pool of Cave, Wade, Granite, and Reed, then count me out.

As it stands now, if Buxton flames out again, you've got Rosario, Cave, and Kepler, which isn't ideal, but you could get by with it.

But if you trade Kepler, are you really ready to roll with Rosario, Cave, and Granite?

What if Cave turns back into a pumpkin? Rosario, Granite, Wade? Can you trust Granite after a bad/wasted year? Can you trust Wade to make the jump and produce? Do you trust that Michael Reed is anything more than a AAAA player?

Unless there's a better backup plan than any of those four, or the return in a Kepler trade is too good to pass down, I'm passing.


It's totally legal in the rule book to sign another OF if Kepler is traded.
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#23 Dr. Evil

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 06:07 PM

Trade Kepler. Sign McCutcheon. Kepler, I'm not bullish on a breakout.
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#24 Mr. Brooks

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 06:17 PM

There are two posters in here saying that Kepler is easily replaceable, and suggest trading him for a front of the rotation pitcher.
Why on earth would a team trade us front line pitching, the second hardest position to fill in all of sports, for such an easily replaceable player??
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#25 Rosterman

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 06:27 PM

You also forget that Rooker may be in the mix.

 

The Twins could possibly trade Rosario and get more. We see what Eddie can do. He might keep doing it. But is he elite?

 

Kepler is someone a team would take a flyer on (similar the Yankees with Hocks - who still isn't the 4-tool superstar we all thought he might be when drafted). 

 

The bigger question is do we double-down and sign him longer term and hope he hits for a bit higher average with the same home runs and defense skills, as well as maybe play a bit of first, or let it be someone else's problem and be amd about the return.

 

 

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#26 jud6312

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 06:42 PM

 

It's totally legal in the rule book to sign another OF if Kepler is traded.

Having the ability to do so and actually doing so are two different things.

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#27 Vanimal46

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 06:49 PM

There are two posters in here saying that Kepler is easily replaceable, and suggest trading him for a front of the rotation pitcher.
Why on earth would a team trade us front line pitching, the second hardest position to fill in all of sports, for such an easily replaceable player??

Teams have different needs. Kepler provides good defensive value and below average offense, who can play CF in a pinch. He's under control for 3 more seasons. He's coming off a career high WAR year, but since he's been a starter, averages 2-3 WAR a season. Overall, a solid player... We're not talking about a player with little value, and teams can use that skillset.

When it comes to the Twins, I believe Buxton will be given every opportunity to start and live up to his potential. His value also comes from great defense, and below average offense. IMO Buxton is going to saturate his teammates' defensive value no matter who it is. He covers a ton of grass out there, making the opportunities for Kepler to also generate a bunch of value defensively scarce. I'm not buying in on Kepler matching his 10 DRS or 10.8 UZR with Buxton out there. That's where his value comes from unless he puts it all together at the plate.

The Twins are better off finding a corner OF where his value is driven from offensive performance, instead of defense. There are players in FA currently that matched or even beat Kepler's WAR production last season, primarily with the bat.

Edited by Vanimal46, 06 December 2018 - 06:51 PM.

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#28 Doctor Wu

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 08:03 AM

Count me as one of those who don't think Kepler has reached his potential yet. And with that in mind, I don't think what we'd get for him in a trade would be nearly enough to satisfy the team or the fans. Imagine another Aaron Hicks type trade. Ugh ...no thanks. Let's keep him for now.

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#29 Vanimal46

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 08:16 AM

Count me as one of those who don't think Kepler has reached his potential yet. And with that in mind, I don't think what we'd get for him in a trade would be nearly enough to satisfy the team or the fans. Imagine another Aaron Hicks type trade. Ugh ... no thanks. Let's keep him for now.


The person that made the Hicks trade isn't here anymore. Don't you think Falvine makes better trades than the past regime so far?

#30 MN_ExPat

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 08:23 AM

Too me the funniest part of much of this discussion is our (and I say our, because I include myself in this) reactions when we feel that a player we really like or love to follow is disparaged.

 

We become invested these guys and young men. Speaking for myself, I've felt this way since I was a little kid watching the games or listening on the radio, and then snagging the sports section the next day to pour over the baseball section and listed stat sheets and box scores. At one point I could tell you the active roster and the main stats for every team in the majors (stat geek!) Heck, I still do that today... although it's a lot more high tech and in real time :), annnnd perhaps a little less obsessive about the numbers.

 

So... at least for me, I get the "over love" for certain players. It's in our baseball DNA since we were kids. These were our heroes, our idols and while most of us really don't use those words to describe them anymore (at least not in public ;)), the emotional response lingers.

 

I'll eventually get to a point... maybe.

 

Kepler for example. I personally think he's a fantastic athlete, and has the mental makeup and physical tools to be an exceptional baseball player. Will he ever fully realize that potential??? I honestly don't know, and in many ways (IMHO) it isn't really that important. Baseball, like life, isn't about the destination. It's about the journey, the steps and stops you take along the way.

 

So, if Kepler (or Cave, or any of the others don't meet great success, are "league average" or just "meh"), I'll be disappointed but ultimately ok with it. There will be other players who come along and other players to root for.

 

We should all relax some, and enjoy the journey.

 

Merry Christmas everyone :)!   

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#31 mike8791

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 08:40 AM

And that's the problem, Vanimal.This new FO seems totally adverse to trades.Other than the Odorizzi transaction, in which the Rays were clearly in a dumping mode, this FO has shown no imagination or risk taking to engage in meaningful trades - IN TWO FULL YEARS!Why is that?

 

This offseason would be a good time to change this pattern, given the improvement in the Minor League system, together with a dearth of FA building blocks in the Twins price range(that's a whole other column, btw).To date, the FO this offseason has followed a pattern of picking up DFA players on one year contracts in the hopes they rebound to previous heights.Not a bad strategy if you have some bona fide lineup studs to build around.That not being the case, the Twins are obviously counting on rebounds from their tattered core plus these new one year signees.Isn't this like drawing to an inside straight?What it isn't, is a recipe for moving into playoff contention.

 

Granted, the offseason isn't over.I fully expect the Twins to add a couple of bullpen options and maybe an OF/DH type and/or a #4 or #5 rotation filler, but will any of this really move the needle in 2019?Very, very doubtful and with the division seemingl;y more competitive, together with the Twins' payroll space and quantity of tradable minor leaguers, this conservatism on the part of Falvine is truly inexplicable.

 

It sure would be nice to see some transparency by ownership and Falvey what their long range plan is here because so far it seems they have none - other than muddling thru.

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#32 Vanimal46

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 08:47 AM

And that's the problem, Vanimal. This new FO seems totally adverse to trades. Other than the Odorizzi transaction, in which the Rays were clearly in a dumping mode, this FO has shown no imagination or risk taking to engage in meaningful trades - IN TWO FULL YEARS! Why is that?

This offseason would be a good time to change this pattern, given the improvement in the Minor League system, together with a dearth of FA building blocks in the Twins price range(that's a whole other column, btw). To date, the FO this offseason has followed a pattern of picking up DFA players on one year contracts in the hopes they rebound to previous heights. Not a bad strategy if you have some bona fide lineup studs to build around. That not being the case, the Twins are obviously counting on rebounds from their tattered core plus these new one year signees. Isn't this like drawing to an inside straight? What it isn't, is a recipe for moving into playoff contention.

Granted, the offseason isn't over. I fully expect the Twins to add a couple of bullpen options and maybe an OF/DH type and/or a #4 or #5 rotation filler, but will any of this really move the needle in 2019? Very, very doubtful and with the division seemingl;y more competitive, together with the Twins' payroll space and quantity of tradable minor leaguers, this conservatism on the part of Falvine is truly inexplicable.

It sure would be nice to see some transparency by ownership and Falvey what their long range plan is here because so far it seems they have none - other than muddling thru.


I completely relate with the frustration. Now is the time to make a risky trade when prices are suppressed and more teams are trying to lose more than win.

#33 ChrisKnutson

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 08:48 AM

If Kep’s a below average player, then why are so many teams interested in him?? Simultaneously, why trade Kep if he’s about to breakout?? And why attach Romero and Lewis to the very same deal?? This is the why I’m not a fan of trading for “Thor,” because they’ll “undervalue” guys like Kepler and Romero, but overvalue Syndergaard to the point where Lewis is has to be included. In other words, I think other teams are trying to rip us off, and why wouldn’t they?? I just hope the FO doesn’t fall for it.
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#34 old nurse

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 09:52 AM

 

I'm all for trading Kepler and other prospects for top end pitching. There's plenty of corner OFs available in FA right now that can match or beat Kepler's WAR value.

After Harper there would be hoping Brantley could stay healthy or players that hope they can overcome old age.

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#35 old nurse

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 09:56 AM

 

There are two posters in here saying that Kepler is easily replaceable, and suggest trading him for a front of the rotation pitcher.
Why on earth would a team trade us front line pitching, the second hardest position to fill in all of sports, for such an easily replaceable player??

Duensing syndrome?


#36 LA VIkes Fan

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 10:05 AM

I think you keep Kepler and he and Cave are locked into a battle royale for the RF position this year. Based on last year's performance, Cave gets the first shot but on a pretty short leash. Kepler starts as a 4th OF/LH 1B so he gets ABs. You have both of them available if Buxton gets hurt again or flames out again, or if there's an injury. This gives you good roster flexibility. 

 

Don't trade Kepler unless you can get a significant pitching upgrade. Seems unlikely, so don't trade Kepler. 

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#37 gunnarthor

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 10:08 AM

 

The person that made the Hicks trade isn't here anymore. Don't you think Falvine makes better trades than the past regime so far?

We're not even close to knowing how good the new FO's trades have been but I don't think they've made any great trades yet. Palacios for Odorizzi? Gil for Cave, maybe? Obviously it's too early to worry about the July deadline trades last year but I remember looking at the 2017 trades and they didn't hold up all that well in hindsight. And we've traded/released assets for basically nothing (Burdi, Chargois, Goodrum) or salary relief (Comp pick). Way too early to praise the new FO on this front.

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#38 Vanimal46

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 10:12 AM

We're not even close to knowing how good the new FO's trades have been but I don't think they've made any great trades yet. Palacios for Odorizzi? Gil for Cave, maybe? Obviously it's too early to worry about the July deadline trades last year but I remember looking at the 2017 trades and they didn't hold up all that well in hindsight. And we've traded/released assets for basically nothing (Burdi, Chargois, Goodrum) or salary relief (Comp pick). Way too early to praise the new FO on this front.


My point is it is kind of irrational to worry about making a Hicks-esc trade when the people who made that trade aren't here anymore. If we hold on to that fear we'll never make a trade again because a trade went sideways 3 years ago.
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#39 JLease

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 10:18 AM

 

The funny thing is I'm baffled why the over-love for Kepler. People have to dig deep into the analytics to find positive things about his offense. The stats on the back of his baseball card haven't changed in nearly 3 full seasons. I'll take the guy who can find holes and get hits on balls in play instead of Kepler's lazy fly balls.

 

It's a fair critique of Kepler, and the fear we all should have on him: this may be exactly the hitter he is. but there's also been enough bursts to tease people. He's still only 25 (same age as Cave). Look at his splits from 2018: crushed it in March/April. Below average in May. Awful in June. Killed it in July. Average in Aug. Poor in September. He's all over the place as a hitter, but he's got all these peripherals that suggest he's capable of being good as well as a track record in the high minors that makes you think he can hit. And the D is stellar (better than anyone else on the roster save Buxton). This could be a make or break season for him. 

 

It's also why the people suggesting moving Kepler to 1B need to stop. His hitting his the problem. It's fine in CF. It's questionable in RF. Even if he's as good a defender at 1B as Mauer became, it's just not enough at 1B.

 

Kepler has interesting trade value because he played enough CF to be attractive to other teams. His D there isn't one of the high elite but it's darn good. He can play other OF positions and not be too much of a drag on your offense. But since we don't know if Buxton is going to make it he's also got value to the Twins who know they can slot him in there and not have to worry about Cave being a fluke.

 

certainty is really helpful in baseball. We know Kepler's floor, I think. The question is does he have much more of a ceiling?

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#40 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 07 December 2018 - 01:58 PM

I don't think they would get enough value out of Kepler to be worth a trade... just my thought. And yes, I think he could break out in a big way. 

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