TBD sends: CF/RF Max Kepler ($15), 2018 4th Round Pick
Night King’s Undead Army sends: 2018 2nd Round Pick
Andrew’s Thoughts: Well, Night King’s Undead Army gets the centerfielder that Jordan coveted.
I’m a big Max Kepler fan. I went to a Twins game in Minnesota last year and took pictures of him, and of stuff with him on it. It was creepy. Having said that, I’m torn on him as a $15 option. I do think there’s pretty solid upside in him — when he’s hot, he’s quite good, so consistency as he matures will help — but, I don’t know. I guess for the cost of moving back two rounds, it’s fine. I think if sent back to auction, Kepler probably takes a slight pay cut. But I also like getting my guys before auction and not having to roll those dice, so.
For TBD, seems good. Another salary dump of an obvious cut in exchange for what might be an okay prospect. TBD’s farm system continues to stockpile without really spending resources that matter to them, so that seems fun.
Hustle’s toxic $0.02: Joe turning another cuttable asset for something in return is always going to be a good move, so I like this for TBD. He’s also been arguably the best at extracting value from picks and minor leaguers, so this is another asset for him. This also saves Jordan at least one awkward DM to me during the minor league draft asking if drafting player X is a good choice.
$15 for Max Kepler seems steep for a somewhat averaging scoring outfielder. He does have CF eligibility which is nice. Jordan has Josh Reddick at 9, but maybe he doesn’t feel comfortable there. Either way, I think Jordan losing a 2nd round pick doesn’t mean a lot for his team and adding a hitter who can play at RF. CF or UTIL certainly will add value and flexibility to his roster. That being said I always think back to Bailey’s cheap outfielders from last year like Span and Markakis… I was able to add Avisail Garcia and Robbie Grossman. Does Kepler have significantly more upside than Kepler to justify 3 times the salary and a 2nd round pick? He might, but he might not. Maybe Span and Markakis don’t have the year like they did last year, but I think there will be comparable unsexy outfielders available in the auction or for cheap once the season starts. If you acquire that type of player during the season, I’m sure a 2nd rounder is close to what gets it done, and you probably save the $15, and that’s under the premise you didn’t lock one up for under $5 at auction or pick one up for free. If you think Kepler has significant upside, I can see the justification here.