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Minnesota Twins Extension Candidate: Luis Arraez


35 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

The difference for me is that peak Buxton is in the argument for best player (not named Ohtani) on the planet. I don't expect to ever get a full season out of Buxton, but he'll be worth 15 a year playing 80 games a year. He'll cover the total cost of that deal in the first 3 years. Arraez just doesn't bring enough to the table outside his bat, and his bat is BA driven only. He needs to hit .330 to be valuable. .300 would still be nice, but a .300 hitting, no power, no speed 1B with bad knees isn't worth the $10m a year people are talking about here. 

I'd take an incentive laden deal for any player, but very few players need to take such deals. Buxton is unique in that. At this point I don't know why Arraez would see himself as needing to take an incentive laden deal. Most players at his age with the accolades he's got are willing to bet on themselves. And Arraez should. But from the Twins perspective I don't see why they should bet $10M a year on a guy who's unplayable if he's hitting under .300. I really wish I trusted his knees more. I love him and what he brings to the game as a whole, let alone just the Twins. I want more of him in the league. But I don't think he's worth an extension at this point, unfortunately. 

I don't know, I guess I am out in right field on this one, but I just don't see what you (and others) see in Buxton.  He is the best center fielder in the game, at least in my extremely humble opinion, but only when he is allowed out of the trainers room.  And 80 games a year just isn't enough for me.  Especially when, at least in 2022, he only played 58 games in the field.  Not worth 15 mil a year unless he can play the field more.  An occasional solo HR, and a .220ish average, along with a 1/3 strike out rate isn't better than a .300 hitter who walks more than he strikes out, power or not.  Don't get me wrong, I love Buck, but I will take Arraez every year until one or the other gets hurt to the point of no return.  58 games in center field, no matter how good he is in those games, just doesn't make up for the lack of overall hitting, home runs acknowledged.  If Buck can get the lifetime contract he got, and who knows, maybe deserves, Arraez should get at least a pretty good portion of that.  Now, before he gets the same idea as Judge, and bets on himself.  

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I would be all for an Arraez extension, he’s a great top of the lineup hitter. My real question is whether he stays at first, which seemed to work in 2022, or if Miranda or Kirilloff (hopefully the latter) replaced him as a mainstay at a position. If I were the Twins, I would see another year of these 3 to see if he gets an extension at all. Along with that, Arraez’s high-average bat is very valuable, but if Lewis, Lee and Martin all come out as High-average/OBP options then he becomes more expendable in that regard as well.

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12 minutes ago, Mark G said:

I don't know, I guess I am out in right field on this one, but I just don't see what you (and others) see in Buxton.  He is the best center fielder in the game, at least in my extremely humble opinion, but only when he is allowed out of the trainers room.  And 80 games a year just isn't enough for me.  Especially when, at least in 2022, he only played 58 games in the field.  Not worth 15 mil a year unless he can play the field more.  An occasional solo HR, and a .220ish average, along with a 1/3 strike out rate isn't better than a .300 hitter who walks more than he strikes out, power or not.  Don't get me wrong, I love Buck, but I will take Arraez every year until one or the other gets hurt to the point of no return.  58 games in center field, no matter how good he is in those games, just doesn't make up for the lack of overall hitting, home runs acknowledged.  If Buck can get the lifetime contract he got, and who knows, maybe deserves, Arraez should get at least a pretty good portion of that.  Now, before he gets the same idea as Judge, and bets on himself.  

To each their own with Buxton. He's certainly not an easy player to evaluate. But Arraez, even fully healthy, just isn't the kind of player that is worthy of much risk taking, in my opinion. He's unquestionably a 1 tool player. he provides no defensive value as a 1B since it's the lowest position on the defensive ladder. He doesn't have the range to play 2B without the shift. And his arm is too erratic to play 3B. He brings no power and no speed. His only tool is getting hits. Most of which are singles. His eye and low strikeout rates are wonderful, and I love watching him hit.

But he's got no wiggle room for his BA dropping. None at all. And at this point he's a platoon bat as he's really struggled against lefties (for him it's struggling when he hits .261 off them with no power). If I'm the Twins I'm simply not betting on a guy who's best position is DH vs Righties with his 2nd best position being 1B against righties. There's simply not enough value in his game for me to want to take on the risk of his knees when I already have him under control for 3 more years. If he were a Nelson Cruz type hitter with power and average, yes, lock him up, but no power DH and 1Bs simply aren't worth much in today's game.

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1 hour ago, roger said:

Have been a huge Arraez fan since he was in the low minors.  Kid can flat out hit.  Yes, he doesn't have a lot of power, but he will get on base at a very high rate.  And let's give this young man credit for something he does that nearly no other Twins do, work the crap out of pitchers.  I don't know the numbers, but I'll bet there were some games where the opposing starting pitcher threw a quarter of his pitches to Arraez.  In today's game where the most important piece of equipment is the 'pitch tracking gigmo', having 7-8-9-10 pitch at bats is an asset, a huge asset.

I also am uncertain to what the problems are with his knees.  I don't recall seeing a lot written about the real medical problem.  Is it something that is expected to be permanent?  Or has he had a couple years where he developed some problem.  So the knee problem may not (or it may) be a major concern to a longer term contract.

For a kid who was elated when the Twins scout returned and told him they had found what was it, $40,000, I expect a reasonable extension can be worked out.  In my opinion, get it done.

Just for your own knowledge:

Twins as a team averaged 3.92 pitches per plate appearance. That was 9th in baseball.

Correa- 4.09
Arraez- 4.01
Larnach- 4.02
Polanco- 4.27
Sano- 4.59
Urshella- 3.68
Kirilloff- 3.94
Sanchez- 3.99
Buxton- 3.98
Jeffers- 4.00
Celestino- 3.99
Gordon- 3.51
Kepler- 3.71
Miranda- 3.75
Wallner- 3.97
Garlick- 3.72

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41 minutes ago, nicksaviking said:

Rod Carew was putting up an OPS over .900 in his prime. These aren't remotely similar players

Arraez has played 4 years in the majors. He has a career batting average of .314 with an average annual OPS of .784. Carew's career batting average after his 1st 4 years in the majors was .310 with an average annual OPS of .798. Notew: I figured OPS by adding each OPS for the 4 years and divided by 4. I realize this is not accurate but is close enough to make my point. In this figure, Carew's OPS the first 4 years is skewed upward, because in his 4th year he only had 191 AB's with an OPS of .931.  Therefore Carew's actual OPS (if I knew how to figure his OPS for his first 4 years) would be even closer to Arraez's OPS. Arraez has 14 home runs and Carew had 21 his first 4 years. Both seem to be hitters who can and do hit to all fields. Neither hits for power. One difference is that while Carew had struck out 262 times in 1,624 at bats his first 4 years, Arraez has only struck out 131 (exactly half of Carew's number) times in 1,413 at bats.  Carew had 111 walks during his first 4 years and Arraez has 137 walks. Carew had 91 doubles ( with 200 more at bats) and Arraez has 77. All in all, these figures seem to suggest that at the same stage (first 4 years)  of their careers, Carew and Arraez are very similar. 

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56 minutes ago, chpettit19 said:

To each their own with Buxton. He's certainly not an easy player to evaluate. But Arraez, even fully healthy, just isn't the kind of player that is worthy of much risk taking, in my opinion. He's unquestionably a 1 tool player. he provides no defensive value as a 1B since it's the lowest position on the defensive ladder. He doesn't have the range to play 2B without the shift. And his arm is too erratic to play 3B. He brings no power and no speed. His only tool is getting hits. Most of which are singles. His eye and low strikeout rates are wonderful, and I love watching him hit.

But he's got no wiggle room for his BA dropping. None at all. And at this point he's a platoon bat as he's really struggled against lefties (for him it's struggling when he hits .261 off them with no power). If I'm the Twins I'm simply not betting on a guy who's best position is DH vs Righties with his 2nd best position being 1B against righties. There's simply not enough value in his game for me to want to take on the risk of his knees when I already have him under control for 3 more years. If he were a Nelson Cruz type hitter with power and average, yes, lock him up, but no power DH and 1Bs simply aren't worth much in today's game.

I respectfully agree; to each their own.  If a guy like Arraez isn't worthy of risk taking, then, excuse me, I don't know who is.  

Let's assume you are right, he is a 1 tool player.  I have to assume that tool is a .300 average bat.  A one tool player who was put in the mix at 1st base in the gold glove pool.  I know I am an old school guy, and the metrics today might be against me, but a .300 hitter who grades out pretty good at a position he has never played before seems like a guy you would want to take a flyer on.  But that is just me.  

I guess it boils down to power vs. getting on base........for the guys who have power.  Hmmmmm......

What is the latter worth?  I guess it depends on what you value, and I guess I value the latter as much as I value the first.  Because without the one, the other is the one tool player, no matter which one is which.  One compliments the other, and neither is worth anything without the other.  

Just an aside:  I know this is not the best stat, as no team wants this to be their calling card, but Arraez led the team in doubles, and tied for first in extra base hits that were not home runs.  Is that power?  Or are solo home runs the definition of power?  One got a career filling contract, and the other is not worthy of an extension.  Maybe old school guys like me aren't the best judge, but I would lock this guy up at least through his early 30's, "power", or not.  And now.  

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Arraez best position is batting second, getting on base and scoring runs. If there is a fast runner batting leadoff, who is also a good on-base hitter, he will also score a lot of runs. If there are guys behind him who can hit or get on base, he should easily score well over 100 runs per year. He will take pitches, allowing a fast base runner to steal. Everybody talks about how well other batters will do without extreme shifts, but I think Arraez can even do better with much wider gaps between fielders. Most teams didn't shift on him because they couldn't figure out where to shift to. But now they also can't put infielders unto the outfield grass to squeeze the angles and cutoff his short hits.  His average with runners in scoring position was the best on the team and as slow as he is supposed to be, he only grounded into 6 double plays in 81 opportunities.

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1 hour ago, Mark G said:

I respectfully agree; to each their own.  If a guy like Arraez isn't worthy of risk taking, then, excuse me, I don't know who is.  

Let's assume you are right, he is a 1 tool player.  I have to assume that tool is a .300 average bat.  A one tool player who was put in the mix at 1st base in the gold glove pool.  I know I am an old school guy, and the metrics today might be against me, but a .300 hitter who grades out pretty good at a position he has never played before seems like a guy you would want to take a flyer on.  But that is just me.  

I guess it boils down to power vs. getting on base........for the guys who have power.  Hmmmmm......

What is the latter worth?  I guess it depends on what you value, and I guess I value the latter as much as I value the first.  Because without the one, the other is the one tool player, no matter which one is which.  One compliments the other, and neither is worth anything without the other.  

Just an aside:  I know this is not the best stat, as no team wants this to be their calling card, but Arraez led the team in doubles, and tied for first in extra base hits that were not home runs.  Is that power?  Or are solo home runs the definition of power?  One got a career filling contract, and the other is not worthy of an extension.  Maybe old school guys like me aren't the best judge, but I would lock this guy up at least through his early 30's, "power", or not.  And now.  

The problem is that when he's a .300 hitter he's a league average hitter. He hit .294 in 2021 and had an wRC+ of 105. That's still a useful player, but not as a 1B or DH. That's my problem with him. Yes, a .300 hitter in a vacuum is worth having around. This isn't a vacuum, though. A 105 wRC+ would've put him as the 18th best hitting 1B in baseball this season.

This isn't about power over average in a vacuum either. I don't care how you create your OPS (BA, walks, slugging) so long as you create it. The challenge for Arraez is he has no wiggle room. If he's not hitting .330 he's a league average hitter, and league average hitters who play DH and 1B are not worth the contract numbers people are throwing around here. For example, old friend CJ Cron is a league average hitting 1B and he got 2 years, 14.5 million. And that's with power. Whether you like it or not, teams pay way more for power.

The problem absolutely isn't that he's not a HR hitter, though, it's that he can't play anywhere but DH or 1B (the 2 lowest spots on the fielding ladder) where you can "hide" elite, all around (that's the key part here) hitters. There's no wiggle room for Arraez to be useful to a team. The entirety of his value comes from hitting over .320, not .300. He needs to be well above .300 to be valuable.

The other part outside the vacuum is his health. He's worn down every season in the second half. He has chronic knee problems. He's doing his best to be available as much as possible, but your legs are pretty important to hitting, and when your only valuable tool is hitting you need to be doing it to the best of your ability at all time to be a valuable player. 

Again, I love Arraez. I want him on the team. But when teams look at players they want them to be able to impact the game in as many ways as possible. Arraez is a risky extension candidate even if I wish he wasn't. I call him Gwynn 2.0 and my friends hate me for comparing him to a HOFer. I think he's fantastic at what he does. That doesn't make his knee issues go away, though. And it doesn't make him faster, or a fielder who can handle 2B or 3B. He's a risky extension candidate and the team doesn't have a great deal of reason to lock him into 10M a year when they have 3 years of control left. 2021 Arraez isn't worth nearly that much. Maybe 2022 Arraez is. The problem is that to be worth that deal he has to win the batting title every year. That's not a bet I'd be willing to make on a guy with his knee issues and 2nd half performances.

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3 hours ago, chpettit19 said:

Just for your own knowledge:

Twins as a team averaged 3.92 pitches per plate appearance. That was 9th in baseball.

Correa- 4.09
Arraez- 4.01
Larnach- 4.02
Polanco- 4.27
Sano- 4.59
Urshella- 3.68
Kirilloff- 3.94
Sanchez- 3.99
Buxton- 3.98
Jeffers- 4.00
Celestino- 3.99
Gordon- 3.51
Kepler- 3.71
Miranda- 3.75
Wallner- 3.97
Garlick- 3.72

Interesting.  Arraez seems it should be higher.  But he also jumps on the first pitch a lot if he likes it.  Expect that evens it out.

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2 hours ago, chpettit19 said:

The problem is that when he's a .300 hitter he's a league average hitter. He hit .294 in 2021 and had an wRC+ of 105. That's still a useful player, but not as a 1B or DH. That's my problem with him. Yes, a .300 hitter in a vacuum is worth having around. This isn't a vacuum, though. A 105 wRC+ would've put him as the 18th best hitting 1B in baseball this season.

This isn't about power over average in a vacuum either. I don't care how you create your OPS (BA, walks, slugging) so long as you create it. The challenge for Arraez is he has no wiggle room. If he's not hitting .330 he's a league average hitter, and league average hitters who play DH and 1B are not worth the contract numbers people are throwing around here. For example, old friend CJ Cron is a league average hitting 1B and he got 2 years, 14.5 million. And that's with power. Whether you like it or not, teams pay way more for power.

The problem absolutely isn't that he's not a HR hitter, though, it's that he can't play anywhere but DH or 1B (the 2 lowest spots on the fielding ladder) where you can "hide" elite, all around (that's the key part here) hitters. There's no wiggle room for Arraez to be useful to a team. The entirety of his value comes from hitting over .320, not .300. He needs to be well above .300 to be valuable.

The other part outside the vacuum is his health. He's worn down every season in the second half. He has chronic knee problems. He's doing his best to be available as much as possible, but your legs are pretty important to hitting, and when your only valuable tool is hitting you need to be doing it to the best of your ability at all time to be a valuable player. 

Again, I love Arraez. I want him on the team. But when teams look at players they want them to be able to impact the game in as many ways as possible. Arraez is a risky extension candidate even if I wish he wasn't. I call him Gwynn 2.0 and my friends hate me for comparing him to a HOFer. I think he's fantastic at what he does. That doesn't make his knee issues go away, though. And it doesn't make him faster, or a fielder who can handle 2B or 3B. He's a risky extension candidate and the team doesn't have a great deal of reason to lock him into 10M a year when they have 3 years of control left. 2021 Arraez isn't worth nearly that much. Maybe 2022 Arraez is. The problem is that to be worth that deal he has to win the batting title every year. That's not a bet I'd be willing to make on a guy with his knee issues and 2nd half performances.

This is one of the belief's in baseball that drive me nuts.  Yes, a good team has a mix of on base guys, power guys, and guys that can do both.  But what I don't understand is what difference it makes where they play in the field.  If my on base guy is a first baseman and my power guy is a shortstop, who cares.  Remember back when most of the shortstops were light hitting with zip power.  Then there was Ernie Banks.  Where the guy plays in the field shouldn't have any effect on his value as a hitter.

 

edit.  Read something on the Twins website about his injury this year.  It wasn’t his knee, rather his hamstring.  Talked about his going to the D.R. To work with Cruz on his conditioning.  He was lighter and healthier this year.  Sounds like he wants to take another step next year.

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At this point Arraez looks more like Lenny Green or Caesar Tovar, both shined bright and peaked around 30 years old after which they dropped quickly.

Luis stealing ability of Green or especially Tovar , not much home run power but each hit double digits at least once in their career; Luis had more home runs this year, I imagine he will have year where he hits double digits but his Triple production fell way off.

After this year, how good he is will determined, not before.

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1 hour ago, roger said:

This is one of the belief's in baseball that drive me nuts.  Yes, a good team has a mix of on base guys, power guys, and guys that can do both.  But what I don't understand is what difference it makes where they play in the field.  If my on base guy is a first baseman and my power guy is a shortstop, who cares.  Remember back when most of the shortstops were light hitting with zip power.  Then there was Ernie Banks.  Where the guy plays in the field shouldn't have any effect on his value as a hitter.

 

edit.  Read something on the Twins website about his injury this year.  It wasn’t his knee, rather his hamstring.  Talked about his going to the D.R. To work with Cruz on his conditioning.  He was lighter and healthier this year.  Sounds like he wants to take another step next year.

In a vacuum it doesn't matter where they play. But in reality it's harder to find a guy with the athleticism to play well up the middle who also hits for above average offense. Having one gives you an advantage. But then having a guy at a corner spot who isn't athletic enough to field up the middle, but doesn't make up for it with significantly above average offense takes your advantage of the up the middle guy away.

Defense is still the priority for most every team up the middle unless you've got a superstar offensively. It's what makes Correa and Buxton so valuable. You can have your offensive guys at the corners where their defense doesn't hurt so much while lengthening your lineup with stud bats by having your SS and CF also be elite bats. Having someone on the corner (Kepler for example) who is below average offensively negates the bonus you have with Correa and Buxton by shortening your lineup back down some.

The goal isn't to have a balance of guys who get on, guys who slug, and guys who do both. The goal is to have as many guys who do both as possible. It's about collecting "tools." It's why having Lewis and Lee isn't a reason not to sign Correa. Having guys who could be stars up the middle move to corner spots makes them even more valuable because they bring more tools than everyone else's corner guys.

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Honestly, I'm really torn on this idea. And like everyone else, I'm a HUGE Arraez fan and love wat him at the plate. Honestly, the past 2yrs, if we needed a big AB, the two guys I'd want up at the plate would be Polanco and Arraez.

I understand fully the totality of "negative" value tied to Arraez because he's not a power hitter, and he's basically average at 2B and 3B. Now, there's value in being able to play those spots at an average level as a fill in, but not tremendous value. I do think he looked pretty good at 1B and should only get better. And are his knees a serious issue? I can't say for certain. He worked hard last offseason to lose weight and gain muscle. Will his new found conditioning help in the future? Is there a chronic knee issue? I think it's fair to say we don't know for sure yet. And then we have the standard trope of a 1B and DH being power hitters and Arraez loses value if is hit and OB tool is his only calling card.

On the other hand:

NOT saying the still young Arraez can't continue to cover 2B/3B for a few more years, but 1B/DH players tend to age well. Players with high AVG/OB/CONTACT skills tend to also age very well. And in this day of 3 outcome players/lineups, there is absolutely room for a player with those types of skills to set the table, advance runners, keep a half inning moving along, or deliver a key hit. Arraez is that kind of player. Does he have power? Well, not really. But he hits doubles. And whether a combination of his strength conditioning, just growing in to "man muscle" in his mid 20's, or growth and maturity as a hitter, his HR power did take a jump this past year. He's just never going to be a slugger by any means. Doesn't mean doubles and HR's might not increase somewhat going forward.

There's a lot of ways to build a lineup. If you have a better than average producer at say, SS, CF, 2B, catcher, what's wrong with a corner guy who isn't a slugger but provides defense, speed, or a great bat and OB? Offense is offense REGARDLESS what position provides it! And I've never bought in to the DH being ONLY some postionless player who thumps the ball. Why? I mean, it's great when you have a Cruz to be THAT GUY, but there aren't that many that are so special. HOF'er Carew moved to 1B and was never a power plant. He was a "similar" player as Arraez. (NOT making a direct comparison here). Wade Boggs was one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game, with outstanding OB ability. (Granted, he turned in to a pretty good defensive 3B over time). But his power was of the doubles variety. When they asked him to hit for power and moved him down in the lineup, he suddenly produced more HR. But his AVG and OB  declined and Boston then asked him to go back to his former approach and spot in the lineup. Just a few references to again say that if you have good players, and a good lineup, does it matter that a certain SPOT that is "traditionally" a power hitter isn't? Arraez is a very special kind of hitter. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he won another batting title or two as a table setter and clutch hitter. My goodness, he won't even be 26yo until April of 2023! Have we even seen the best of him yet?

He's under control for 3 more years, if I understand his timeline. Not playing a premium position and not being a power hitter will always hold down his $ value, though not his value to a lineup. I would absolutely look at an extension....but not now. I understand his cost wil continue to rise, as it does for every player. But he's probably never going to be overly "expensive". And the FO has enough to work on right now to get ready for 2023. I'd let things play out for 2023. Let's see if his new-found conditioning is for real...and I have little doubt...and let's see if the knees are going to be fine, or an ongoing issue. (Betting they won't be). This time next year, yeah, I'm looking at 4 or 5yrs for $40-50M-ish. I just don't think there is a rush to do so now.

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I would easily extend arraez for ideally 6 seasons. I think people here are missing a few things. First of all I don't really know where people got the impression that 120 wRC+ hitters grow on trees from a team with realistically above average position player development (we're not the dodgers or A's). The thought that all or most of Martin, Lewis, Julien and Lee have similar or better offensive production than Arraez is extremely questionable. How many people hailed the days of Kepler and Sano carrying the lineup in the future (who were much higher rated prospects, minus Lee). I think the twins most likely get 1 guy averaging 120 wRC+, maybe 2 if I'm being optimistic. So I'm not sure why a contending team would trade an established mlb producer and replace him with hopes and dreams.

Second, on the current active roster Arraez leads by a significant margin of 9% in career wRC+ (min 1k PA). While you can argue Polanco and Buxton aren't the hitters they used to be and have vastly improved, there's still no denying he's a key bat on this team. I think it's realistic to project this to be the case in the years to come. Third is the defense. People are acting like he's complete useless on the field which while he's had some key errors this is obviously selection bias. Actually looking at the numbers tell a very mixed story. Thing with arraez is he just hasn't played enough to have a proper sample for these metrics to be accurate. At worst OAA grades his range (not whole defense) to be very bad at 2b -11 OAA in around 1200 In. At best FRAA grades him as above average defensively overall. Yeah he's not winning any gold gloves but I think he should be able to at least play a solid first base in the future.

Fourth, people are really out of touch with the current market. A player like arraez who is in his late 20s when he hits free agency and has a career 120ish wRC+ is not get anywhere CLOSE to 10 mil. Schwarber who shares a decent amount of similarities with Arraez got 79/4 basically 20 mil AAV and now with the new cba and inflation the prices have only gone up.

Finally, the aging curve for position players, while disputed, most agree on that the prime years are 27-29. Arraez is going into his age 26 season and of course there is significant variance player to player and arreaz might be peaking at 25-26 but that's not as set in stone as people make it out to be. It's entirely possible Arraez finds a new gear or can produce 2022 level results in his late 20s. If that happens a cheaper extension now will look great.

With that out of the way my take is that I'd probably give Arraez 60/6 guaranteed and then tack on some incentives for PA and awards. If he wants straight up guaranteed money probably 75/6, increasing the yearly amount. At that price you're basically getting a 2-4 war player for 10-14 mil AAV which is very good in the 2020s AND you have a home grown fan favorite locked up for his prime.

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First the FO needs to decide if he's going to be their 1B going forward. Consensus here seems to indicate that he can't play anywhere else in the field so it's either 1B or DH. Second, the Manager needs to decide where he is going to have him hit in the lineup. Sometimes it's leadoff, sometimes it's 2nd, sometimes it's 6th or 7th or who the hell knows? It makes no sense not to have him batting 1st or 2nd regardless of the matchup. He's the best hitter on the team. Put him in a spot and leave him there.... ALL SEASON. As for his knees, Was it really his knees in 2022? He had hamstring issues towards the end of the season. Don't think his knees were bothering him. If he is only valuable if he's hitting .330+ but is considered average at .300 then there are a buttload of guys in the majors getting paid a lot more than him hitting less than .240 that should be considered worthless.... aka Kepler. Is it time to extend Arraez? Only if the plan is to use him at 1B long-term. If it isn't then I don't do it. If Kirilloff doesn't come back healthy, (who was going to be the 1B post Sano) then the decision might be easy. If Kirilloff does come back healthy then Arraez maybe becomes a trade piece with his value being at its highest.

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12 hours ago, DocBauer said:

Honestly, I'm really torn on this idea. And like everyone else, I'm a HUGE Arraez fan and love wat him at the plate. Honestly, the past 2yrs, if we needed a big AB, the two guys I'd want up at the plate would be Polanco and Arraez.

I understand fully the totality of "negative" value tied to Arraez because he's not a power hitter, and he's basically average at 2B and 3B. Now, there's value in being able to play those spots at an average level as a fill in, but not tremendous value. I do think he looked pretty good at 1B and should only get better. And are his knees a serious issue? I can't say for certain. He worked hard last offseason to lose weight and gain muscle. Will his new found conditioning help in the future? Is there a chronic knee issue? I think it's fair to say we don't know for sure yet. And then we have the standard trope of a 1B and DH being power hitters and Arraez loses value if is hit and OB tool is his only calling card.

On the other hand:

NOT saying the still young Arraez can't continue to cover 2B/3B for a few more years, but 1B/DH players tend to age well. Players with high AVG/OB/CONTACT skills tend to also age very well. And in this day of 3 outcome players/lineups, there is absolutely room for a player with those types of skills to set the table, advance runners, keep a half inning moving along, or deliver a key hit. Arraez is that kind of player. Does he have power? Well, not really. But he hits doubles. And whether a combination of his strength conditioning, just growing in to "man muscle" in his mid 20's, or growth and maturity as a hitter, his HR power did take a jump this past year. He's just never going to be a slugger by any means. Doesn't mean doubles and HR's might not increase somewhat going forward.

There's a lot of ways to build a lineup. If you have a better than average producer at say, SS, CF, 2B, catcher, what's wrong with a corner guy who isn't a slugger but provides defense, speed, or a great bat and OB? Offense is offense REGARDLESS what position provides it! And I've never bought in to the DH being ONLY some postionless player who thumps the ball. Why? I mean, it's great when you have a Cruz to be THAT GUY, but there aren't that many that are so special. HOF'er Carew moved to 1B and was never a power plant. He was a "similar" player as Arraez. (NOT making a direct comparison here). Wade Boggs was one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game, with outstanding OB ability. (Granted, he turned in to a pretty good defensive 3B over time). But his power was of the doubles variety. When they asked him to hit for power and moved him down in the lineup, he suddenly produced more HR. But his AVG and OB  declined and Boston then asked him to go back to his former approach and spot in the lineup. Just a few references to again say that if you have good players, and a good lineup, does it matter that a certain SPOT that is "traditionally" a power hitter isn't? Arraez is a very special kind of hitter. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he won another batting title or two as a table setter and clutch hitter. My goodness, he won't even be 26yo until April of 2023! Have we even seen the best of him yet?

He's under control for 3 more years, if I understand his timeline. Not playing a premium position and not being a power hitter will always hold down his $ value, though not his value to a lineup. I would absolutely look at an extension....but not now. I understand his cost wil continue to rise, as it does for every player. But he's probably never going to be overly "expensive". And the FO has enough to work on right now to get ready for 2023. I'd let things play out for 2023. Let's see if his new-found conditioning is for real...and I have little doubt...and let's see if the knees are going to be fine, or an ongoing issue. (Betting they won't be). This time next year, yeah, I'm looking at 4 or 5yrs for $40-50M-ish. I just don't think there is a rush to do so now.

Doc, don’t know if you saw my comment above.  Go to the Twins site and the post about Cruz working with Arraez again this year.  They work from 7-4 and again at night.  The point I got was their talking about his hamstring injury this year, not knee.

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I would wait another year before making any extension decision on Luis.  Very fun player, but this team's infield in roster is in quite a state of flux at this time and the FO should get another year under their belt before making a call.  Just my 2 cents.

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