Get ready for an influx of rumors regarding the New York Yankees and the trade deadline on Friday. The latest name to come across is Minnesota Twins lefty slugger Max Kepler, who is on a five-year, $35 million deal.
Kepler is heading into the third season of his contract and is set to earn $6.5 million. Considering his price tag is rather reasonable, Kepler could fit the bill for the Yankees, given his consistent double-digit homer totals over the past six seasons.
According to John Morosi, the twins have had preliminary conversations regarding Kepler, and the Yankees are one possible suitor given their shortage of left-handed hitting.
Sources: #Twins have had preliminary trade conversations on Max Kepler. The #Yankees are one possible fit, given their shortage of left-handed hitting, as @john_jastremski mentioned to me last night. @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 26, 2021
This season, Kepler is hitting .220 with 13 homers and 38 RBIs. He hosts a 20.8% strikeout rate and 10% walk rate, posting a 1.4 WAR on the season so far. Again, the Yankees are intrigued by powerful bats, but his 20% strikeout rate is his highest since 2018, indicating a slow start to this season but traditional solid contact.
To acquire Kepler, the Yankees would likely have to give up a few prospects, as the 28-year-old still has plenty of baseball left in his bones. However, he has never hit over .252, but during that season in 2019, he posted 36 homers and 90 RBIs, attesting to the Yankees’ interest.
Bombers have also been connected to Colorado Rockies star shortstop Trevor Story, and while I fully anticipate general manager Brian Cashman executing a deal before Friday’s deadline, it could be a far less flashy player to fill a role on the cheap.