One of the biggest needs that the New York Mets have as they continue to navigate their busy offseason is finding another bat or two via free agency or a trade. Recently it's been made known throughout the league that the Minnesota Twins have put outfielder Max Kepler on the trading block, and with their recent addition of Joey Gallo, it seems more likely than not he is moved soon.
While it's not immediately known what the asking price for Kepler may be, one interesting name that could fill a potential need for the Twins would be current Mets starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco. The Mets are also known to be currently listening to offers on Carrasco and it would make sense as a potential swap should the Mets and Twins explore a deal centered around both players.
The Mets should explore a trade for Max Kepler as another potential designated hitter and outfield option
Ideally, before the Twins signed free agent catcher Christian Vazquez, James McCann may have also been a name that the Mets could've included in a deal for Kepler and some additional pieces. But when focusing on this deal, the Mets would get a potential left-handed bat that could be inserted in the designated hitter position as well as play a corner outfield spot for the Mets. The Twins in return would get a reliable starter for their current rotation which has a few starting pitchers coming back from injuries.
The 29-year-old Kepler will be earning $8.5 million in the final year of his deal, but his deal does contain a $10 million club option for 2024. Similar to Kepler, the 35-year-old Carrasco is entering the final year of his deal which pays him $14 million before hitting free agency next winter.
When looking at the deal from the Mets' perspective, Kepler is an excellent defensive outfielder and he would give manager Buck Showalter some flexibility with his outfield alignment as it appears they are currently looking for another outfielder to fit in the mix next season. While Kepler would be more of a low-risk bounce-back candidate for the Mets with his bat, after his down season in 2022, he did slug 36 home runs for the Twins back in 2019.
After hitting .227/.318/.348 with nine home runs and 43 RBIs in 2022, Kepler could be a prime change of scenery candidate, especially with the shift going away in 2023, as Kepler has notoriously been one of the most shifted-upon hitters in baseball. Maybe the Mets can strike lightning in a bottle in Kepler's potential walk year while continuing to build depth moving forward on a deal that won't handicap them for future seasons to come.