Skip to main content
Publish date:

Can the Twins get a solid starting pitcher for Luis Arraez this winter?

His name came up at the trade deadline.
Luis Arraez

Twins rookie Luis Arraez is having an unexpected but phenomenal season. In 61 games, the 22-year-old is hitting .341 in 211 at-bats with an .853 OPS.

After playing periodically in the first half of the season, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli has put Arraez in the everyday lineup since the All-Star break, and he's certainly deserving.

Arraez hasn't demonstrated much power (just three home runs this season), but he rarely strikes out and walks at an average pace. Arraez was never regarded as a top prospect, but his name did come up in July trade talks, according to Dan Hayes of The Athletic.

Even though he's been a revelation and might be the team's answer at second base for years to come, should the Twins consider trading him?

Why they should trade him

It was a unique trade deadline this summer, with very few big moves taking place outside of Houston landing Zack Greinke.

Hayes noted that beyond prospects, Arraez was "everyone's favorite ask" amongst teams who were offering rental players. If teams still come calling about the infielder this winter, could the Twins still end up flipping him for a controllable asset instead of a rental?

The Twins kicked tires on Noah Syndergaard, but the Mets were apparently asking for Byron Buxton (LOL!) as a starting point with top prospects too. If Arraez keeps up his impressive play, maybe the Twins could offer Arraez and one of their top-three prospects to start that conversation again this winter. 

Syndergaard's fastball can reach triple digits and he has a career ERA of 3.71. He's the exact kind of ace the Twins need and would form a nice 1-2 punch with Jose Berrios.

Maybe a more achievable and lesser expensive option is last year's Cy Young winner, Blake Snell. In 20 starts this season, Snell has come down to earth a bit with a 4.28 ERA but his 3.39 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) suggests he's been unlucky this year. 

He's currently on the injured list as he underwent surgery to remove a loose body in his throwing elbow but he's expected back in September. Snell did receive a five-year, $50 million contract last March, but Tampa Bay is a small market with low payroll and wouldn't be surprising to see them part with him.

Arraez and a solid prospect could be enough to get Snell, although the Rays might not want to trade him so soon after his dominating 2018. 

Matthew Boyd was another name who was floated around this summer at the trade deadline. Detroit is going to be in the bottom of the division for years to come and will be open to taking on prospects to see what works for them going forward.

Boyd has struggled a bit in August but he still has an ERA of 4.24 on the season and is striking out 11.8 batters per 9 innings.

He won't be a free agent until 2023 and although he might not be an ace, a change of scenery from the lowly Tigers could do wonders for him.

Why they shouldn't have traded him

For starters, it's a tough sell to part ways with a guy who's a .300 hitter and is under team control through 2024, especially if all the Twins could've got is a rental arm.

Plus, given his position flexibility, Arraez is a huge asset for the Twins.

Then, when you compare Arraez numbers this season to other great hitters' rookie campaigns you'll start to drool a little bit. 

Arraez vs. Tony Gwynn: The first player that comes to mind, as noted by Indians manager Terry Francona, per the Star Tribune, whose numbers and style of play are similar to Arraez is Gwynn.

Gwynn was a career .338 hitter with just 135 home runs in 20 big-league seasons. It's not a forecast for the future, but Arraez actually has more impressive first-year numbers than Gwynn had in 1982. Two years later and Gwynn was a top-three MVP candidate. 

  • Arraez 2019: 61 games:.341 BA, .408 OBP, 10.1 BB%, 7.1 K%
  • Gwynn 1982: 51 games: .289 BA .337 OBP, 7.3 BB%, 8.4 K%

Arraez vs. Rod Carew: The next legend that comes to mind is Twins great Rod Carew, who was a career .328 hitter and flirted with a .400 batting average in 1977. Carew hit .388 that year and found himself on the cover of Time Magazine.

Carew won the Rookie of the Year award in 1967, and his first 61 games weren't as impressive as Arraez's first 61 games in the MLB.

  • Arraez 2019: 61 games:.341 BA, .408 OBP, 10.1 BB%, 7.1 K%
  • Carew 1967: 61 games: .319 BA, .361 OBP, 6.8 BB%, 16.1 K%

Obviously, assuming Arraez becomes Gwynn or a Carew is farfetched since both of those players were first-ballot Hall of Famers, and Arraez, at this point, is still a flash in the pan.

It's very unlikely Arraez will be a career .343 hitter. For the season, Arraez has a BABIP (batting average on balls in play) of .358, meaning regression is inevitable. The league average BABIP is closer to. 300. 

But there is some belief Arraez can sustain his production. Over his last 28 days, Arraez owns a BABIP of .297, while having a traditional batting average of .288 during that span.

That means he's not getting lucky, he's simply finding hits at a sustainable rate when he puts the ball in play. Now, .288 is not .343, but if that's who he's going to be in his career, he's still an above average second baseman.

It's certainly easy to say right now that he's a valuable asset for the Twins. However, if teams come calling about him this winter, and the return piece isn't a rental pitcher, the Twins should seriously consider it depending on who they get in return. 

Next Up

plow, snowplow, snow

Plowable snow possible this weekend in Minnesota

Up to half a foot of snow could fall within the heaviest band.

Best Buy - jjbers, Flickr

Police reveal new details about 'coordinated' Best Buy thefts

A large group stole thousands of dollars in merchandise from three Twin Cities Best Buy stores.

Seven Points exterior - 2

New tenant revealed for former Libertine spot in Uptown

The space will combine playful art offerings with a restaurant.

white Christmas

What are Minnesota's chances of a white Christmas this year?

The Twin Cities averages a white Christmas about 3 out of every 4 years.

ilhan omar press conference voicemail screengrab 11.30.21

'You will not live much longer b***': Rep. Omar shares threatening voicemail

Omar's office received the call hours after Rep. Boebert posted her video about the MN congresswoman.

Screen Shot 2021-12-01 at 11.24.09 AM

ESPN's 'Booger' makes fun of Wild fans' record cup snake

He's the same guy who thought the "Minneapolis Miracle" was bad for the Vikings.

brian ingram

Woodfired Cantina closes at Keg and Case in St. Paul

Restaurateur Brian Ingram is focusing on growing his other concepts.

giant bear

Video: 'THE fattest bear we have ever seen' spotted on MN trail camera

"This might be THE fattest bear we have ever seen in our area," researchers said.

u.s. attorney

Guilty plea from man who stockpiled guns, equipment to make bombs, drugs

Prosecutors say he had multiple guns, items to make weapons and pipe bombs, and lab equipment to make drugs.

polaris Ranger XP Kinetic

Here is Polaris' new electric Ranger off-road vehicle

The Minnesota-based company unveiled the electric UTV on Wednesday.

Related

Blake_Snell,_Wilson_Ramos_(41371609524)

Twins and Rays would be ideal trade partners this winter

There's multiple starting pitchers Minnesota could trade for.

Luis Arraez

5 Twins prospects who are most likely to be traded

Minnesota will have plenty to offer at the trade deadline.

Luis Arraez

Twins' Luis Arraez carted off with leg injury vs. Royals

The Minnesota Twins rookie had to be carted off the field after a collision in Saturday's game against the Kansas City Royals.

Luis Arraez

Why Luis Arraez deserves to start for the 2020 Twins

Twins Daily looks at the plate discipline that makes Arraez a tough out.

Luis Arraez

What happens to the Twins after Luis Arraez's injury?

Arraez was injured in Saturday's game against the Royals.

Luis Arraez

What makes Luis Arraez so good and how can he repeat in 2020?

Arraez burst onto the MLB scene as an unexpected tough out in 2019.

Bumgarner

Are the Twins and Giants inching closer to a trade?

Talks of Bumgarner to the Twins are heating up.

Rocco Baldelli

With World Series window open, Twins need to address bullpen

It's time for the Twins to strengthen their bullpen.