MLB rumors: Yankees talk trade with Twins about ex-MVP candidate

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Time is of the essence for Brian Cashman.

The New York Yankees general manager has built a team which sits seven games out of first place in the American League East with eight days until the July 30 trade deadline.

Among the many teams Cashman has been linked to is the Minnesota Twins, who feature a pair of starting pitchers which are available if the price is right: Jose Berrios and ex-Yankee Michael Pineda.

But the New York Post’s Joel Sherman reports Cashman is talking to the Twins about several players, beginning with left-handed hitting outfielder Max Kepler.

The Yankees have already inquired with the Twins about Kepler. In fact, Minnesota is a natural place to shop because the Twins have such an abundance of lefty hitters. I also have heard the Yankees have talked about a bunch of those lefties — imagine Luis Arraez, Alex Kirilloff and switch-hitter Jorge Polanco. The Yankees also asked about center fielder Byron Buxton and shortstop Andrelton Simmons.

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But back to Kepler, who would a fill a huge hole as a lefty bat that can play the outfield. The 28-year-old is in his seventh MLB season. Kepler finished 20th in voting for the 2019 American League MVP Award when he set career highs with 36 home runs and 90 RBI.

This season, Kepler is hitting a career-worst .217 with 12 home runs and 37 RBI in 62 games.

According to Spotrac, Kepler is making $6.5 million this season, which is the third year of a five-year, $35 million contract. Next season, his price tag goes up to $6.75 million. In 2023, it’s $8.5 million. The deal also includes a club option for 2024 at $10 million with a $1 million buyout.

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