One big piece of news that came out of the Winter Meetings on Monday was from the Twins organization. They announced that Luis Arraez is available via trade. Arraez won the 2022 AL batting title with a .316 batting average. In return, the Twins want top tier pitching. Is this an avenue that the Brewers should explore?
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The Brewers do need help on offense. They parted ways with Hunter Renfroe and Kolten Wong. Jesse Winker was one player involved in the return packages and the hope is that he will bounce back after a bad 2022 season. However, having a former batting champion on your team certainly would be a big improvement to the offense.
Throughout his four year career, Arraez has hit below .300 in just one season. He hit .294 that year. Arraez also has great contact skills as he struck out just 7.1% of the time last year. Power is not his calling card, but he did hit a career high 31 doubles last season.
Defensively, Arraez split time between first base, second base, and designated hitter last year. While he does not excel defensively, with how well he performs at the plate even having a little bit of defensive versatility will allow him to get into the lineup consistently.
What would the Brewers have to give up in order to acquire the 2022 AL batting champion?
Arraez is 25 years old and comes with three years of club control. Acquiring him would not come cheap. Given that the Twins have already announced that they are looking to improve their pitching staff, the Brewers would have to part ways with some of their talented pitchers.
The Brewers have already reportedly committed to retaining Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff. With them supposedly unavailable, other top tier type pitchers on the team include Eric Lauer, Aaron Ashby, Ethan Small, and Devin Williams.
Just one of these pitchers likely would not get a deal done. Matt Arnold would also have to be willing to part ways with a top 30 prospect or two as well.
It is unclear who the Brewers would be willing to give up in a trade package for Arraez. Of the pitchers mentioned, Williams seems the least likely to be moved given that the team lost Josh Hader and he will slide into the closer’s role.
So far, no reports have indicated that the Brewers are pursuing Arraez. However, they likely have put a plug out there to get an idea of what it would cost them.