SEATTLE, WA – The recent trade between the Mariners and Twins brought infielder Jorge Polanco to Seattle in exchange for a four-player package. However, discussions also involved outfielder Max Kepler, although this did not lead to any further deal, according to MLB.com.
The Mariners’ interest in expanding their outfield mix suggests a desire for more changes in their lineup. Losing Teoscar Hernández and Jarred Kelenic last year prompted the acquisition of Mitch Haniger from the Giants and Luke Raley from the Rays. Haniger, who has struggled with injuries, may require more time in the designated hitter slot, but the team’s current roster construction may not allow for that.
Raley’s strong performance in 2023 ended on a low note, raising questions about the overall depth of the outfield position for the Mariners. The team’s president of baseball operations, Jerry Dipoto, hinted at a potential modest increase in payroll for the 2024 season, but constraints around broadcast revenue may limit this.
As for the Twins, the team may be less inclined to part ways with Kepler, who had a strong season at the plate last year and is expected to continue in a pivotal role in the upcoming season. This, coupled with the team’s budget limitations and desire to stay within a certain spending range, could mean Kepler remains with the team for the foreseeable future.
The trade discussions and potential roster additions point to an intriguing offseason for both the Mariners and Twins, reflecting their respective strategies for the forthcoming season.