Max Kepler
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Twins set new MLB record after reaching 200-home run threshold

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Max Kepler helped the Twins to a new MLB record on Friday after swatting a second-inning, three-run home run off of the White Sox’ Dylan Cease. With the homer, the Twins reached the 200-HR threshold — not only becoming the first team to do so in 2019, but the fastest in any Major League season to date.

According to MLB.com’s Russell Dorsey and Elias Sports, the last team to hold that record was the 2005 Rangers, who collected their first 200 dingers in 122 games. The 2019 Twins, on the other hand, needed just 103 games to reach that mark.

The Twins’ torrid run has been fueled by the talents of Kepler — who leads the team with 27 — as well as Nelson Cruz (25 home runs), Eddie Rosario (22), Mitch Garver, (19), C.J. Cron (18), Miguel Sanó (17), Jorge Polanco (15), and Jonathan Schoop (15). All told, 10 Twins players have double-digit home run totals so far this season.

For comparison purposes, the Twins entered Friday’s game with a good leg up on the competition. The Dodgers and Yankees approached the weekend tied with 174 total home runs apiece, well below Minnesota’s record-setting total, while the Marlins and Tigers have yet to crest the 100-HR mark with 81 home runs and 90 home runs, respectively.

Red Sox want to trade Jackie Bradley Jr.

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Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are actively trying to trade outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. In fact, the Mets were discussing such a trade with the Mets before they ultimately acquired Jake Marisnick from the Astros last week.

The Red Sox have made it no secret that they plan to reduce payroll. They’re currently above $218 million, about $10 million above the competitive balance tax threshold. Bradley is projected to earn $11.5 million in his third and final year of arbitration eligibility.

While Bradley continued to play above-average defense, his offense has left a bit to be desired. He has an aggregate adjusted OPS of 90 over the past three seasons (100 is average), matching his mark of 90 in 2019 specifically. Bradley hit .225/.317/.421 with 21 home runs, 62 RBI, and 69 runs scored in 567 plate appearances.

Since an acquiring team would likely be on the hook for most or all of Bradley’s salary, the Red Sox wouldn’t get much in return in a trade. With the Mets out of the picture, the Cubs and Diamondbacks are a couple of teams that could match up with the Red Sox on a trade involving Bradley.