5 Mets trade deadline targets that have now become too expensive

Milwaukee Brewers v Philadelphia Phillies
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Max Kepler really struggled last year, leading many to think that he might be on the trade block for the retooling Twins. 

Kepler was able to hit for some power in the second half of 2021, but he still was not moved this winter, and now that he has returned to form, it doesn’t look like he will be available.

Kepler has looked strong in the first month of the season. He’s played in 34 games, slashing .243/.341/.423/.765 with five homers and doubles, 12 runs scored, 15 RBI’s, and an OPS+ of 130. He has a really good eye at the plate, drawing 14 walks and striking out just 22 times. If he continues with his 0.64 K/BB ratio, it would be the second highest of his career (0.74 in 2018).

His Savant page is good. He’s in the 92nd percentile in xwOBA, 89th percentile in xBA, 88th percentile in xSLG, 74th percentile in strikeout rate, and 71st percentile in walk rate. He’s hitting much better against breaking balls this year, seeing rises in his barrel rate, hard hit rate, and chasing those pitches less. He’s only got one blue dot, which is his outfielder jump, yet he’s still in the 82nd percentile in outs above average. 

Another factor in Kepler likely being too expensive to trade for is that the Twins are in first place in the AL Central. The White Sox have really struggled early on, the Twins have been hitting and pitching better than expected. Unless they drop in the standings, Kepler will be too expensive to trade for.