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What will we get back from the likely impending trade of Kepler


The spring training fight is for that extra bench bat who might by the main DH. The decision will boil down, ultimately, to the need for regular playing time vs. sitting on the bench.

Bullpen has 2-3 openings with 5 guys fighting for a chance to break camp. Cn you pitch more than an inning? That might be the plus. And does Maeda start the season with the Twins, or spend a month in Florida getting his arm up to speed.

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22 minutes ago, DocBauer said:

 

But that's also what's so damn frustrating about Max. He walks, doesn't K a ton, runs the bases well, makes contact, and has shown in the past he's a legitimate 30+ doubles hitter with high teens and 20HR power. I can fully accept 2019 and the juiced ball as being an outlier. But even with a juiced ball, you still have to hit the ball hard with some kind of launch angle in order to hit all those HR. How on earth does such a sweet swing from a strong, athletic man like Kepler turn in to pop-ups and weak grounders the past 2yrs?

 

I know Buxton had some issues when the so called hitting guru's kept tinkering with his swing.  I believe Buxton basically said he was going to go back to the way he hit.  I mean I'm paraphrasing and trying to remember some of that stuff a couple of years ago.  But maybe too many people have been messing with Kepler's swing?  Maybe he did something those past years that hitting coaches have tried to change and maybe he goes back to his old ways of hitting??  I'm hoping something like that comes true.  But I do remember when it seemed like Buxton couldn't hit either and he snapped out of it.

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1 hour ago, DocBauer said:

IF Kepler is moved...and I'm agreeing more and more that he's being kept...there are two areas I would like to see addressed in a return that makes the most sense to me:

1] A quality 7th inning RP that might even be good/proven enough to pitch the 8th once in a while. At worst, I'd like a hot, young bullpen arm ready to graduate from AAA. BUT, why do that when Fulmer is still sitting there? 

2] A young A+ or AA SP with a live arm who's got a real future but is probably a year or two away. Keep adding to the system when guys like Lopez and Paddack may be about to move on, though, of course, re-signings are still possible.

These two options would make the most sense to me.

I have nothing to base this on, but does Fulmer have some baggage we don't know about? If not, why have the Twins not signed him?

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2 hours ago, Mike Sixel said:

I see you dismissed defense. He's about a league average player when you take into account defense. 

Actually I did address his defense which is clearly why he continued to play... but... there are a ton of great defensive players in AAA.. Doesn't mean that they should be starting in the majors. He is just not a good hitter... That is just a fact.. I REALLY wish I was wrong... 

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1 minute ago, tarheeltwinsfan said:

I have nothing to base this on, but does Fulmer have some baggage we don't know about? If not, why have the Twins not signed him?

I was thinking there might be wink, wink agreement to sign him once roster spots open up or maybe another team has an under the table agreement with him but I have to believe once teams have roster spots available he won't be around long.

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Every off season I hear discussion about a log jam. Every single off season without fail... we have to move someone because of a log jam. 

The log jam is like big foot. I have never seen an actual log jam in a Twins uniform out in the wild, there are no remains of a dead log jam found on a river bank. No log jams droppings.

Log Jam also = Loch Ness Monster

Never seen one 

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If there was ever a team in the history of baseball that needs to staff about 25  outfielders on the 26 man roster. This TEAM is IT. 

We just came off a season where we needed about 30 of them last year and we are entering a season where nobody has proven capable of being the guy (Buxton Health included in that capability).

 

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1 hour ago, Twodogs said:

I know Buxton had some issues when the so called hitting guru's kept tinkering with his swing.  I believe Buxton basically said he was going to go back to the way he hit.  I mean I'm paraphrasing and trying to remember some of that stuff a couple of years ago.  But maybe too many people have been messing with Kepler's swing?  Maybe he did something those past years that hitting coaches have tried to change and maybe he goes back to his old ways of hitting??  I'm hoping something like that comes true.  But I do remember when it seemed like Buxton couldn't hit either and he snapped out of it.

You are 100% right on Buxton and his approach. Former Twin and intelligent, experienced player and Podcaster/radio head Trevor Plouffe has commented that one of the best things the current FO has done in regard to the mikb system has been treating every player as an individual rather than trying to force everyone in to a collective of hitting approach. IIRC correctly, Rowson was the hitting coach in 2019. I don't recall the hitting coach after him right now, but MAYBE they have "tinkered" with him too much. Maybe he's gotten stuck/stubborn  on his approach? But it's up to the current coaching staff, if he's kept, to make the RIGHT adjustments.  I've heard he's tried really hard to "do the right thing" and attempt to hit the other way and such. Maybe he just needs to be told to "swing away" while trusting his instincts. 

IMO, were I Popkins, I would ask him to do what feels natural. DON'T ignore previous instruction that tells you that you can shorten up your swing and slash something to LF. But STOP obsessing about it. Do what is natural. Hit the crap out of a ball in your zone and see what happens. Just don't worry about hits, and focus on hard contact on a pitch you like. Drive that baby for a single, double, or HR. But quit feeling you have to be PERFECT at every AB. I think being a leadoff hitter and 2019 messed with his approach. IMO, he's been trying to be too perfect as a hitter.

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1 hour ago, tarheeltwinsfan said:

I have nothing to base this on, but does Fulmer have some baggage we don't know about? If not, why have the Twins not signed him?

I think Fulmer is a victim of his own success. As a former ROY he's been a disappointment. But his transition to the pen is running on 2yrs now. And while not a STOPPER or FIREMAN he's been pretty good in his new role. As smart as ML FO are supposed to be, he's seen as a middle guy. Not worthy of a $6M yr or $12M 2yr deal. But the numbers say he's worth that. And just turning 30yo, SOMEBODY is going to look at him eventually and realize he's a sold 6th-7th inning arm who might even pitch an 8th inning here and there. I am honestly shocked and perturbed the Twins haven't already pounced on him for a deal.

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13 hours ago, whosafraidofluigirussolo said:

In the comments on the original announcement of the trade from yesterday, there's a rundown of the 13 position players who would appear likely to come out of spring training. It doesn't require Kepler being traded in order to work:

C: Jeffers, Vazquez
IF: Miranda, Correa, Polanco, Kirilloff, Farmer
OF: Buxton, Larnach, Gallo, Kepler, Taylor, Gordon

There's no one locked into the DH spot, so that opens it up for a rotation among the OFs (those of them whose hitting justifies starting at DH, ha.) Plus Gallo or Gordon can spot start in the infield if one of the infielders gets a DH day.

There still is something of a redundancy of lefty-hitting outfielders, but there are enough places and situations to deploy them that it doesn't scream waste of a roster spot. If they had gotten a righty hitter to split time at 1B/DH (like the Gurriel rumors suggested) then all the outfielders would seem more superfluous, but maybe the Taylor acquisition means a shift away from that 1B/DH strategy.

I bet the Twins still would trade Kepler to meet another significant need, but I doubt they do it because of any perceived roster crunch. I think they're going for more depth with, if everyone is healthy, a bench full of players who could be at least low-end starters. 

How long does that "everyone is healthy" thing last.  Likely not long.  Big difference between having a redundancy of anything in January vs. having such in June.  Kirilloff, Buxton & Larnach won't be winning any Lou Gehrig or Cal Ripken awards anytime soon.

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10 hours ago, DocBauer said:

I think Fulmer is a victim of his own success. As a former ROY he's been a disappointment. But his transition to the pen is running on 2yrs now. And while not a STOPPER or FIREMAN he's been pretty good in his new role. As smart as ML FO are supposed to be, he's seen as a middle guy. Not worthy of a $6M yr or $12M 2yr deal. But the numbers say he's worth that. And just turning 30yo, SOMEBODY is going to look at him eventually and realize he's a sold 6th-7th inning arm who might even pitch an 8th inning here and there. I am honestly shocked and perturbed the Twins haven't already pounced on him for a deal.

It would be interesting to know how much Fulmer wants and how much, if any, the twins have offered to Fulmer. Maybe Fulmer wants a 3 year deal and the Twins are unwilling to sign him for three years. That is my best guess at this point.

 

 

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Keep him. Getting rid of the shift will help a player like Kepler a lot. The team was decimated by injuries last season and will most likely carry six outfielders on the active roster. That would be Gordon, Larnach, Buxton, Taylor, Kepler, and Gallo. Their next best outfielder is Celestino and most of his appearances have come in relief of Buxton, which is now Taylor’s role. Their only other option for RF if they lose Kepler would be someone like Wallner. I fully expect a turnaround year from Max. His defense is still well above average and his hitting will produce drastically different results without teams shifting on him. 

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1 hour ago, tarheeltwinsfan said:

It would be interesting to know how much Fulmer wants and how much, if any, the twins have offered to Fulmer. Maybe Fulmer wants a 3 year deal and the Twins are unwilling to sign him for three years. That is my best guess at this point.

 

 

I'm wondering if they're crossing their fingers he doesn't sign before they can get Canterino and Paddack on the 60-day. I think there's a solid chance they hope to sign a reliever to fill at least 1 of those spots on the 40-man.

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1 minute ago, chpettit19 said:

I'm wondering if they're crossing their fingers he doesn't sign before they can get Canterino and Paddack on the 60-day. I think there's a solid chance they hope to sign a reliever to fill at least 1 of those spots on the 40-man.

Can a team agree to terms but delay signing until this happens?

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23 hours ago, August J Gloop said:

Saw the rumor/news that Tampa is still on the hunt for offense. I could see 2 of Kep, Gordon, & Larnach + HQ prospect (Lee, Salas) heading out for McClanahan or Springs. Tampa hasn't locked McClanahan up so he's about to get arb $$. That's usually when TB moves someone. He so good, though, they might deviate in his case. Springs seems like  a fine fallback. I think Springs shorter track record could reduce the quality of prospect that TB might ask for.

Since Tampa is looking for offense - I'd guess it to be Larnach + Gordon. Trev is a hitter and Gordo seems right up their alley with the positional flexibility. Or they could forgo the prospect all together and send Glasnow. His injury risk would be the Twins Problem, but the main reason he is gettable for less.     

Your evaluation of the value of McClanahan and Glasnow is way too low. 

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1 minute ago, Squirrel said:

Can a team agree to terms but delay signing until this happens?

They can, but I don't think it happens often. I'd think the player would have his agent working for the extra time to see if there's a better deal available, or the same deal but the team would sign him immediately. Player probably wouldn't feel too comfortable waiting an extra month, or whatever, and not having that deal locked up. Lot can happen in a month that would lead the team in a different direction and leave the player hanging.

But it's entirely possible the Twins know his price and are willing to pay it, but not until Spring Training when they open extra 40-man spots so are just sitting back and hoping he lasts that long. Which at this point seems relatively likely since there's not a lot of openings on rosters. May be the remaining FA's best bets to sit back and see how ST plays out and which team loses a guy to injury, or decides someone isn't good enough and are willing to pay the FA.

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16 hours ago, Riverbrian said:

Every off season I hear discussion about a log jam. Every single off season without fail... we have to move someone because of a log jam. 

The log jam is like big foot. I have never seen an actual log jam in a Twins uniform out in the wild, there are no remains of a dead log jam found on a river bank. No log jams droppings.

Log Jam also = Loch Ness Monster

Never seen one 

This. 1000 times this

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On 1/24/2023 at 10:02 AM, whosafraidofluigirussolo said:

In the comments on the original announcement of the trade from yesterday, there's a rundown of the 13 position players who would appear likely to come out of spring training. It doesn't require Kepler being traded in order to work:

C: Jeffers, Vazquez
IF: Miranda, Correa, Polanco, Kirilloff, Farmer
OF: Buxton, Larnach, Gallo, Kepler, Taylor, Gordon

This is true, but it does leave Wallner blocked, and someone (Celestino?) DFA'd to make room on the 40.

Maybe the Twins are thinking that Kepler, Gallo, Gordon, Larnach, and Kirilloff are auditioning to keep their roster spot through the trade deadline, and when Lewis comes back. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to go that way

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On 1/24/2023 at 10:02 AM, whosafraidofluigirussolo said:

In the comments on the original announcement of the trade from yesterday, there's a rundown of the 13 position players who would appear likely to come out of spring training. It doesn't require Kepler being traded in order to work:

C: Jeffers, Vazquez
IF: Miranda, Correa, Polanco, Kirilloff, Farmer
OF: Buxton, Larnach, Gallo, Kepler, Taylor, Gordon

There's no one locked into the DH spot, so that opens it up for a rotation among the OFs (those of them whose hitting justifies starting at DH, ha.) Plus Gallo or Gordon can spot start in the infield if one of the infielders gets a DH day.

There still is something of a redundancy of lefty-hitting outfielders, but there are enough places and situations to deploy them that it doesn't scream waste of a roster spot. If they had gotten a righty hitter to split time at 1B/DH (like the Gurriel rumors suggested) then all the outfielders would seem more superfluous, but maybe the Taylor acquisition means a shift away from that 1B/DH strategy.

I bet the Twins still would trade Kepler to meet another significant need, but I doubt they do it because of any perceived roster crunch. I think they're going for more depth with, if everyone is healthy, a bench full of players who could be at least low-end starters. 

This!

Especially because, to answer the question posed in the headline, if you are trading because you HAVE to get rid of a player, you're basically dumping salary and you'll get nothing. You have no leverage in negotiation.

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On 1/24/2023 at 12:37 PM, Craig Arko said:

I still kinda compare Kepler’s trade value with Denard Span. So I’d expect to get a pitching prospect on the order of Alex Meyer.

I don't think Kepler has that value. Span (I think) had more years of control and was still in CF.

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1 hour ago, ToddlerHarmon said:

This is true, but it does leave Wallner blocked, and someone (Celestino?) DFA'd to make room on the 40.

Maybe the Twins are thinking that Kepler, Gallo, Gordon, Larnach, and Kirilloff are auditioning to keep their roster spot through the trade deadline, and when Lewis comes back. It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to go that way

Another way to look at it is that it leaves you with three or four competent position players on the 40-man and in the minors (presumably Julien, Celestino, Wallner, and Lewis once healthy)—which is something you want.

Wallner in the majors right now is not a need, for the team or the player, IMO. He's played 50 games at AAA and 18 in the majors, where he was okay but didn't really force the issue. He can marinate a while longer.

The trade was announced, so they've had to make room on the roster already, which they did by DFAing A.J. Alexy. Celestino's spot is safe.

With that said, I don't disagree that by midyear, if everyone is healthy, the Twins may expect the minor-league guys to be pushing for a spot on the roster and expect that someone else will become trade bait.

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On 1/24/2023 at 11:02 AM, whosafraidofluigirussolo said:

In the comments on the original announcement of the trade from yesterday, there's a rundown of the 13 position players who would appear likely to come out of spring training. It doesn't require Kepler being traded in order to work:

C: Jeffers, Vazquez
IF: Miranda, Correa, Polanco, Kirilloff, Farmer
OF: Buxton, Larnach, Gallo, Kepler, Taylor, Gordon

There's no one locked into the DH spot, so that opens it up for a rotation among the OFs (those of them whose hitting justifies starting at DH, ha.) Plus Gallo or Gordon can spot start in the infield if one of the infielders gets a DH day.

There still is something of a redundancy of lefty-hitting outfielders, but there are enough places and situations to deploy them that it doesn't scream waste of a roster spot. If they had gotten a righty hitter to split time at 1B/DH (like the Gurriel rumors suggested) then all the outfielders would seem more superfluous, but maybe the Taylor acquisition means a shift away from that 1B/DH strategy.

I bet the Twins still would trade Kepler to meet another significant need, but I doubt they do it because of any perceived roster crunch. I think they're going for more depth with, if everyone is healthy, a bench full of players who could be at least low-end starters. 

Have expected Max to be gone everyday since the Gallo signing. The unfortunate Gallo signing……..wouldn’t you like that $11 million back to spend elsewhere? Somewhere around $9 million for Max seems a lot for a back-up RF. Could use those $ for a FA reliever.

I don’t dislike Kepler & had high hopes for the “lift of the shift” to help his production significantly. Still, have assumed he would be traded. Acquisition of Taylor seems to push even more for Max to be gone.

When reviewing health history of our OF candidates (Larnach - Buxton - even Kepler) & Gallo’s potential to not hit at all…….it may make sense to keep Max around for real MLB caliber depth. We need to stay away from Jake Cave - Gilberto Celestino types as our options for OF starters!!

If we hang on to him both he & Gallo are competing for innings starting Day 1. Personally, I think Gordon earned LF in ‘22 - no matter how many Gold Glove options we may have.

With Kepler in mix of 26 we have on Roster injury insurance for our OF. If both Max & Joey excel - great. If we can trade one of them at the Deadline and bring up Lewis to help our offense all the better. At that time a team might take a well rounded Vet along with some prospects for a Top End Arm??

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I think Kepler, more than any other Twin, will benefit greatly from the no shift rule.  I’d like to see him play under that rule. It may not improve his hard-hit rate but I beeline his he will be on base a lot more this season. I’m sure the Twins are all over this as they contemplate the upcoming season and Kepler’s value.

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On 1/24/2023 at 8:11 PM, tarheeltwinsfan said:

I'm not sold on Larnach. Therefore Kepler should stay, He is a cheap option, relatively speaking.

Why would you be less sold on Larnach than Kepler? We've got a troubling three year trend on Kepler. Even if you want to buy into Kepler getting on base more with the removal of the shift, he had 9 HR and only !!!18 doubles!!! last year. He has no power and is just a slap hitter these days. Even if he bumps his OBP/BA by .030 points, he's still likely got an OPS under .700. 

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2 hours ago, Stevo said:

I think Kepler, more than any other Twin, will benefit greatly from the no shift rule.  I’d like to see him play under that rule. It may not improve his hard-hit rate but I beeline his he will be on base a lot more this season. I’m sure the Twins are all over this as they contemplate the upcoming season and Kepler’s value.

Welcome to Twins Daily!

I agree it should help him, but it won't help the pop outs and weak grounders to 2nd base.  They will still be outs.

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I hope the Twins move Kepler for a solid relief pitcher or as part of a package to acquire another top starter.  Celestino seems redundant as well since acquiring Taylor.

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58 minutes ago, Jeff K said:

I hope the Twins move Kepler for a solid relief pitcher or as part of a package to acquire another top starter.  Celestino seems redundant as well since acquiring Taylor.

Taylor is a one year option out there, giving Celestino a chance to develop in AAA, as his development time was cut short out of need. I wouldn't call Celestino at all redundant, not yet, anyway. Hopefully he will (and should, imo) spend the year at AAA to see where he's at mid-season; and hopefully we won't need him up as we did in the past 2 yrs.

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