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Max Kepler’s Value


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The Twins need a catcher and a shortstop assuming Farmer is in a platoon/utility role. I wondered what Kepler might bring as the main piece the Twins might send in return.

I went to BTV searching for shortstops with at least medium trade availability and value in the Kepler range. They include Luis Guillorme, Amed Rosario, Jorge Mateo, Taylor Walls and Edmundo Sosa. .

There are also some second basemen that have played SS like Vidal Brujan, Brendan Rogers and Rodolpho Castro. Another name that jumps out in this group is Nick Gordon.

I did the same for catchers and came up with Luis Campusano, Reese McGuire, Joey Bart, Austin Nola, Selby Zavala, Tom Murphy, Rene Pinto and Mitch Garver.

Many of these teams probably need that catcher or infielder more than they need Kepler. Do any appear to be really good fits? Would we be selling low on Kepler for someone in this group?

J.P. Crawford and Jonah Heim are also is listed at medium but their cost is more in the Larnach range. Would it be better to retain Kepler and trade Larnach instead?

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Most teams would probably rather trade their player for a prospect, that eat Kepler's remaining contract.

If he shines in spring training, and doesn't appear to be an "extra" outfielder amongst the midst of ALL other Twins outfielders shining, he could draw interest in case of an in jury. But if play is the same, teams would probably rather trade for a Larnach, Kirilloff or Celestino.

Your best bet would be to package him with, say, a WInder or an Ober.

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16 minutes ago, Rosterman said:

Most teams would probably rather trade their player for a prospect, that eat Kepler's remaining contract.

If he shines in spring training, and doesn't appear to be an "extra" outfielder amongst the midst of ALL other Twins outfielders shining, he could draw interest in case of an in jury. But if play is the same, teams would probably rather trade for a Larnach, Kirilloff or Celestino.

Your best bet would be to package him with, say, a WInder or an Ober.

They swapped major league needs last year with the Rangers and Yankees. Of course teams would prefer for Larnach or Ober as we would prefer Adames or Jansen. The thread is about Max Kepler’s value as the main piece in a trade. His value is limited but so are the values of those in the post.

Is your point that the players Kepler might return aren’t worth it or that it would be impossible to find a fit? Maybe your point is that the Twins should be trading and Ober or Larnach to get a better catcher or shortstop in return and spend time trying to find a match for Kepler.

 

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https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2022/11/astros-rumors-corner-outfielder-free-agent-left-handed.html

Step right up, have I got a deal for you, young man!

But yeah, this team isn't getting anything terribly exciting for Kepler and his contract. The benefit is clearing room for the number of young players who need at bats and clearing budget to better allocate to free agents.

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40 minutes ago, nicksaviking said:

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2022/11/astros-rumors-corner-outfielder-free-agent-left-handed.html

Step right up, have I got a deal for you, young man!

But yeah, this team isn't getting anything terribly exciting for Kepler and his contract. The benefit is clearing room for the number of young players who need at bats and clearing budget to better allocate to free agents.

Thanks for the addition.

There might not be a match for a major leaguer here but they have a near ready catcher in Korey Lee and SS in Pedro Leon. Both are near Kepler’s BTV. Leon is probably more like Martin and Lewis where his glove fits better in CF.

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I disagree with most of the posts here.  I believe Kepler actually has a fair amount of value, even more so to the Twins.

We know about his defense, but the shift rule changes could dramatically impact Kepler's offense.  Paying $8.5M for a high level defender with a roughly league average bat is not terrible.  Don't forget he has a team option as well if he has a solid year.

All we need to do is look at Sano to realize that expectations can distort how we view our players. Kepler is not the guy to carry the team, but he is a solid piece for a decent price.

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Right now Max Kepler is likely more valuable to the Twins because teams will be reluctant to part with an athlete of promise. Guys like Larnach, Ober, and Miranda hold value according to btv. Perhaps Kepler could be added as a piece in a big trade but the money and years of control make him difficult to trade when one considers that Max still has useful skills and talent that can be used by the Twins.

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I like him fine. He's a league average player, and he's worth his salary. But, they have Wallner and I'm ready to give him a shot. That, of course, depends on how they feel about the healthy of Larnach and Kiriloff also. And if they think Martin can play LF sometime this year (or center when Buxton is hurt). And, well, trading him creates some risk.....but I don't think he has a ton of trade value.

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2 hours ago, Fire Dan Gladden said:

I disagree with most of the posts here.  I believe Kepler actually has a fair amount of value, even more so to the Twins.

We know about his defense, but the shift rule changes could dramatically impact Kepler's offense.  Paying $8.5M for a high level defender with a roughly league average bat is not terrible.  Don't forget he has a team option as well if he has a solid year.

All we need to do is look at Sano to realize that expectations can distort how we view our players. Kepler is not the guy to carry the team, but he is a solid piece for a decent price.

He's not really league average with the bat. He's below league average and if you say close, you'll also need to factor in his position. 

SS, CF and C will drag that league average closer to where Max lives. 

Using 100 AB's as a qualifier. He is ranked 37th OPS amongst RF. 

If Kepler was a SS he would rank 24th. 

If he was a CF he would rank 23rd. 

If he was a C he would rank 26th. 

Below league average in RF is offensively painful and if you choose a defensive specialist at that position. You better have a bat at a defensive position to make up the difference. We currently don't have that guy on the roster. 

Bottom Line... I don't see a trade match. Let's be honest... if this was an ARB case... He would probably be non-tendered. The Contract is going to pay him 8M... so the Twins might as well keep him and see if the shift rules help him. 

But... whatever you do... Do not pencil him at RF and say covered. Bring in a big bat to play in a corner. 

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Keplar's ship has likely sailed when it comes to trade value. An AA prospect and a wild card is probably a good trade for him. 8.5 this season and 12.5 next hurts his trade value. He's one of my favorite Twins but his offense from right field has been not good to really bad the last two seasons. Keep him around and expect some improvement on offense is the safe play. His defense is stellar and can't be easily replaced.

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On 11/22/2022 at 1:44 PM, nicksaviking said:

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2022/11/astros-rumors-corner-outfielder-free-agent-left-handed.html

Step right up, have I got a deal for you, young man!

But yeah, this team isn't getting anything terribly exciting for Kepler and his contract. The benefit is clearing room for the number of young players who need at bats and clearing budget to better allocate to free agents.

Who would you target in return in the trade for Kepler?

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Earlier  I texted that a Kepler/ German Marquez (CO) would be a great trade. Marquez had a down year and many (CO) fans are down on him. Marquez has been an all-star pitcher but I think Marquez is tired of pitching in hitter friendly Coors Field. Morneau & Cuddyer rejuvinated their career in CO and with this shift ban I can see Kepler could really turn it around in Coor's. I can also see Marquez really turn it around getting away from Coors and come to our pitching facilities. A win all a way around.

Another point of interest- we could also include Dobnak in the trade. I always thought Dobnak type of pitching would bode well in Coors and exchange we could receive Grichuck (a RH hitting corner OF). This might be a tougher sell. But it might be worth it, for both.

A cheap trade that'll checks a couple of important boxes & could pay very high dividends.

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1 hour ago, Doctor Gast said:

Who would you target in return in the trade for Kepler?

I'm lower on Kepler than most, so I don't think it's the kind of situation you can really target specific players. I'd think it's more of a Best Player Available scenario. Probably somebody (sombodies) none of us are familiar with. Like the Gio Urshela return.

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On 11/22/2022 at 5:02 PM, Reptevia said:

Kepler could bring back a Nick Gordonesque talent. What would be the point?

Would much rather have a Gordon in the lineup than a Kepler. In 2022 Gordon hit .272, Kepler .227. Both got about the same number of at bats, both hit 9 HR. Gordon had 50 RBI to Keplers 43. Gordon is getting what? League minimum? and Kepler $8.5M with a $1M buyout for next year so figure $9.5M. I doubt they will extend him for $10M in 2024. The shift won't help Kepler. The 2nd baseman can still play in the hole to the edge of the grass which is where he hits it 90% of the time. 

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I'd rather hold onto him and see how the upcoming season plays out. I don't think the player(s) you get back will be equal to his value in right and with the bat without the shift. Holding off till Aug 1st will probably get a similar return as what you can get now at his low value. A playoff team Keplar in right is an asset, a lottery draft team can trade him at the deadline for similar prospects and maybe even increase the return. 

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On 11/22/2022 at 9:57 AM, jorgenswest said:

The Twins need a catcher and a shortstop assuming Farmer is in a platoon/utility role. I wondered what Kepler might bring as the main piece the Twins might send in return.

I went to BTV searching for shortstops with at least medium trade availability and value in the Kepler range. They include Luis Guillorme, Amed Rosario, Jorge Mateo, Taylor Walls and Edmundo Sosa. .

There are also some second basemen that have played SS like Vidal Brujan, Brendan Rogers and Rodolpho Castro. Another name that jumps out in this group is Nick Gordon.

I did the same for catchers and came up with Luis Campusano, Reese McGuire, Joey Bart, Austin Nola, Selby Zavala, Tom Murphy, Rene Pinto and Mitch Garver.

Many of these teams probably need that catcher or infielder more than they need Kepler. Do any appear to be really good fits? Would we be selling low on Kepler for someone in this group?

J.P. Crawford and Jonah Heim are also is listed at medium but their cost is more in the Larnach range. Would it be better to retain Kepler and trade Larnach instead?

The best thing is to trade Kepler and replace him with a solid MLB outfielder. He’s been an offensive disaster for 3 years running and owns a lifetime ~.233 BA. Classic addition by subtraction. Amed Rosario would be a good 1 for 1 trade but doubt Guards would do that. Must buttress OF with Brantley, Haniger, Nimmo, etc. Wallner may make a good replacement RF but would have a more experienced solid MLB OF as insurance.

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On 11/25/2022 at 9:25 AM, rv78 said:

Would much rather have a Gordon in the lineup than a Kepler. In 2022 Gordon hit .272, Kepler .227. Both got about the same number of at bats, both hit 9 HR. Gordon had 50 RBI to Keplers 43. Gordon is getting what? League minimum? and Kepler $8.5M with a $1M buyout for next year so figure $9.5M. I doubt they will extend him for $10M in 2024. The shift won't help Kepler. The 2nd baseman can still play in the hole to the edge of the grass which is where he hits it 90% of the time. 

I agree Gordon is far more valuable than Kepler and still growing in an upward arc. Kepler just has to go for the team to move forward/upward.

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On 11/22/2022 at 6:51 PM, Mike Sixel said:

Freeing up space for Wallner, and 8.5 million to sign other players. Whether that is a good idea or not is up for debate.

I'd call it an excellent idea.

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3 minutes ago, Greglw3 said:

I'd call it an excellent idea.

Kepler is worth 3 Wallners, he is a very poor fielder and his batting average was dropping fast; he belongs in AAA but really AA. or he will become another Sano.

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On 11/25/2022 at 9:25 AM, rv78 said:

Would much rather have a Gordon in the lineup than a Kepler. In 2022 Gordon hit .272, Kepler .227. Both got about the same number of at bats, both hit 9 HR. Gordon had 50 RBI to Keplers 43. Gordon is getting what? League minimum? and Kepler $8.5M with a $1M buyout for next year so figure $9.5M. I doubt they will extend him for $10M in 2024. The shift won't help Kepler. The 2nd baseman can still play in the hole to the edge of the grass which is where he hits it 90% of the time. 

Agreed, Kepler’s defense doesn’t fill that 8+ million delta between him and Gordon. I’d take Gordon too.

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2 hours ago, RpR said:

Kepler is worth 3 Wallners, he is a very poor fielder and his batting average was dropping fast; he belongs in AAA but really AA. or he will become another Sano.

If all you care about is the defense, you could swap Kepler for Billy Hamilton and save $8M.

I mean, no one wants that, but no player is worth 8M just for their defense.

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