Skip to main content

Report: Blue Jays 'make a ton of sense' as trade partner for Polanco, Kepler

"I would say at least one of the two going is at 80-percent."

As Twins fans sit patiently, or impatiently, by the fire waiting for the organization to make a move this winter, MLB Network's Jon Morosi linked a couple of Twins veterans as trade bait that could be appealing to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler have long been rumored to be on the trade block this winter. Morosi, speaking on MLB Network Monday, said there's an "80 percent" chance at least one of them is gone before the season, with it be "around 50-50, maybe even a little above" that both are traded this winter.

"I really think the Twins, as they look at the overall picture of their depth chart, what's happened since the end of the season is they've lost Sonny Gray, Cy Young finalist, and they've lost the dependable Kenta Maeda," Morosi said. "Unless they find a way to sign one of the major free-agent pitchers who are still out there....they probably have to move one of those players via trade to make it possible."

Morosi mentioned possible free agents Shota Imanaga and Lucas Giolito as arms that could make sense for Minnesota. 

According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, Imanaga may command a deal that reaches near $100 million, which would likely put him out of the range of a Twins organization looking to downsize their payroll. Giolito, while not as expensive, might be more costly than the Twins are willing to dish out for a righty coming off a season in which he posted a 4.88 ERA and a AL-worst 41 home runs allowed. 

That's why trading for pitching is more likely than signing talented arms. Morosi goes one step further, saying the Twins could be headed for a youth movement. 

"You look at what they've been able to do to bring in some of the younger talent, position players, [Matt] Wallner comes to mind, [Alex] Kirilloff as well. They have now this young group of position players coming in, Edouard Julien as well to play in the middle part of the diamond which has made Polanco a bit more expendable. I would point out one team here that makes a ton of sense, the Toronto Blue Jays."

Morosi reported Sunday that the Twins are "listening to trade offers" for both Polanco and Kepler and that Toronto could remain active since they didn't land Shohei Ohtani. 

"The Jays were in there on Ohtani, of course they missed him, they now need to bring in multiple bats and I think they need to find a way to add in, whether it's Polanco or Kepler, maybe it's even both, to balance out that lineup."