Chicago Cubs Rumors: Two CF Trade Candidates this winter

Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Three
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Three / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
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Max Kepler
Minnesota Twins v New York Yankees / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Second trade scenario: Cubs deal with Minnesota for Max Kepler

Sticking with the "Slide Seiya Suzuki to CF and trade for a left-handed power bat" theme, we come to Max Kepler, who has been a mainstay with the Minnesota Twins throughout the duration of his career.

Set to make 8.5MM this season, nearly 2 million higher than last year, Kepler comes with a club option for 2024. It was only earlier this year that Kepler was discussed as a potential trade chip for a Minnesota Twins team that was set to "reload" before landing Carlos Correa. In short, Minnesota opted to keep Kepler and he wound up having another down year. Albeit slightly improved, but down nevertheless.

For 2022, he slashed .227/.318/.348 with just 9 home runs and 43 RBIs. His 115 games played was due to missing some time with a toe fracture and wrist sprain. Not necessarily injuries that happen frequently, but the wrist in particular can help explain the lack of power. Kepler has recorded decent seasons throughout his career such as in 2019 when he hit 36 bombs with 90 driven in while landing in the top 20 of MVP voting. For the Cubs, It's not about landing a stud in the outfield.

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The primary needs offensively come in the form of a first baseman (Abreu, Bell, Mancini?) and a shortstop (Already seems to be narrowing down to Bogaerts or Swanson?). The outfield position should be thought of as nothing more than something that bridges the gap for the next year or two before the prospects make their way up to the majors. If the Cubs can land a guy with some offensive upside for under 10.0MM and save some salary for the bigger fish, I'm all for it. It shouldn't take much to acquire either of the aforementioned via trade.