To our collective relief, ESPN’s Jeff Passan announced that Arraez will move into a utility role for the club. However, you can’t but wonder what could’ve been if Arraez was on the trade market. What could the Twins have received in return? Which other clubs could he have been a perfect piece for? Why not take a perfectly reasonable solution for him with the team and bring chaos into the picture? Here are three potential teams that Arraez could’ve landed with had the Twins decided to move on with their breakout star.
*** Disclaimer: I do not necessarily condone or recommend the trade of Luis Arraez. Let’s try and have fun here. F. U. N.
Billy Beane’s squad lost their brightest star in Marcus Semien to free agency. Despite this, the most understated team in baseball may still be the favorite to win the AL West. Adding Luis Arraez to their roster could’ve significantly helped with those chances. Oakland will likely utilize both Tony Kemp and Chad Pinder at second base, both utility players with below league average offensive metrics. While Arraez will not replace the home run production lost with Semien’s exit, his OBP and low strikeout rate would make him an ideal candidate to hit ahead of Khris Davis or Matt Olson.
The return: Despite their lack of big ticket pitchers, Oakland has one of the best bullpens in baseball with Lou Trivino leading the pack. After losing several members of its stable bullpen to free agency, the Twins could use one of Oakland’s stable arms to further increase its depth. Outside of the bullpen, Sean Manaea is another interesting trade target as a fourth starter behind Michael Pineda. Last season, Manaea introduced the cutter and curveball into his pitch repertoire. If he continues to work on his control of both pitches and can work into later innings, the Twins could have an ace on their hands.
San Francisco Giants
Every student in America has experienced a group project where one member does all the work (and it’s usually you). For this team, that group member is Mike Yastrzemski. Yastrzemski plays all three positions in the outfield and produces the most offense on the team. Outside of starting pitching, the Giants could use an additional bat. Arraez would fit in perfectly with the Giant’s formula of utilizing numerous utility players across their roster, such as the previously mentioned Yastrzemski as well as Donovan Solano and Mauricio Dubon. Like the Athletics, utilizing Arraez to hit ahead of Yastrzemski seems like the perfect formula.
The return: Again, in the name of fun, the most reasonable thing here is to trade for Tyler Rogers. Because what isn’t fun about twin brothers playing for the Twins? Someone ping the analytics department STAT about the last time this historical event has occurred. If you disagree with this, you hate fun.
If the Red Sox and Yankees can make a trade, the sky's the limit. It’s widely agreed upon that while Cleveland will still be a competitive team in the AL Central, the loss of Francisco Lindor cements their status as a third place team. It’s also likely that the spring cleaning has just begun. There are rumors swirling of potential trades of Jose Ramirez and Shane Bieber. A trade with Cleveland is less about filling a need for Cleveland but can more about fulfilling a need for the Twins.
The return: Even without Shane Bieber, Cleveland still has one of the best rotations in baseball. Triston McKenzie, Aaron Civale, and Zach Plesac have done a phenomenal job of making us forget about the Kluber/Bauer era. If the Twins want to make a blockbuster deal akin to last season for starting pitching, it’s the 216 area code that they should be dialing. If Cleveland doesn’t extend Bieber, the Twins need to take advantage of Cleveland’s plans to clean house and make a play for the best pitcher in baseball. If Bieber is unavailable, any of the three other rookie pitchers mentioned above would be a great fit with the Twins. It’s a reasonable move to try and obtain a piece of one of the best rotations in baseball when this rare opportunity presents itself.
In the name of fun, what other transactions do you think Arraez could be a good bargaining chip for? Comment below!
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