The 2021 season has been cruel to Max Kepler and the Minnesota Twins and therefore made them sellers at the MLB trade deadline. The Twins’ purge began last week with them trading Nelson Cruz to the Tampa Bay Rays. It could continue with them moving a handful of position players such as the aforementioned Kepler.
Kepler is in the midst of a rough season at the plate, which is partially due to injuries. At the same time, the 28-year-old outfielder swings a power bat from the left side and is adept at playing both right and center field. He’s also under team control through 2024.
Max Kepler stats (2021): .215/.300/.441, 13 home runs, 39 RBIs and eight stolen bases
More than capable of making a difference on a playoff hopeful, here are three teams that make sense for a Max Kepler trade.
3. Chicago White Sox get Max Kepler
The White Sox are World Series contenders and should be all ears when it comes to upgrading their roster via trade. Kepler would instantly become Chicago’s starting right fielder.
The left-hander adds a power bat to an offense that’s bizarrely 25th in MLB in home runs this season (108). With that in mind, a power hitter like Kepler would add offensive variety to manager Tony La Russa’s order. He could hit second or in the middle of the order with the mindset of driving in the sluggers ahead of him like Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada.
Defensively, Kepler gives the White Sox a smooth right fielder with versatility, which comes into play as their outfield has been crippled by injuries this season. Their depth has improved over the last month, but Kepler is capable of being a potent force and a difference-maker for the White Sox.
What hinders the possibility of an intradivision trade between the Twins and White Sox involving Kepler is individuals like Brian Goodwin and Gavin Sheets swinging the sticks well of late and Eloy Jimenez returning to the field. They can find a role for Kepler but may feel it’s unnecessary to add another outfielder to the mix.