Twins Trade Rumors: Max Kepler Drawing a 'Lot of Interest' After Joey Gallo Contract

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 17, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 29: Max Kepler #26 of the Minnesota Twins bats against the Boston Red Sox on August 29, 2022 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

The Minnesota Twins agreed to a deal with one outfielder Friday and may ship another one out in a trade.

According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, there is a "lot of trade interest in Max Kepler" after the Twins signed Joey Gallo. Heyman previously reported Minnesota agreed to a one-year, $11 million deal with the veteran Gallo.

Minnesota is certainly taking a chance with the addition of Gallo.

While he is a two-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glover who drilled 38 home runs in 2021 after posting 41 homers in 2017 and 40 long balls in 2018. However, he was also abysmal during the 2022 campaign and slashed .160/.280/.357 with 19 home runs and 47 RBI while splitting time with the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers.

If he bounces back and rediscovers his form, this will be a worthwhile chance for the Twins. If he doesn't, and the team trades Kepler, it won't be what they envisioned.

Kepler, 29, is in somewhat of a similar position as Gallo.

He was excellent as recently as 2019 when he slashed .252/.336/.519 with 36 home runs and 90 RBI during the 2019 season while finishing 20th in American League MVP voting. Yet Kepler looked nothing like that version of himself in 2022.

In fact, he slashed .227/.318/.348 with nine home runs and 43 RBI in 115 games for the Twins last season. Losing someone like that wouldn't be difficult to overcome, although the chance that Kepler could return to form could convince some team to trade for him.

Both players will be looking to bounce back from disappointing efforts in 2023, although it remains to be seen whether they will both be in Twins uniforms.