The Milwaukee Brewers need offense. Their best eligible hitter in 2022 is hitting just .255 on the season. Their second best qualified hitter is hitting .251 on the year. Those players are Hunter Renfroe and Kolten Wong. Both have since been sold.
In short, the Brewers need help on offense. They need guys who can get hits and get on base often. No one gets hit more often than a reigning league batting champion. And one of them just hit the trade market.
At the Winter Meetings, rumors surfaced that the Minnesota Twins were open to trading AL batting champion Luis Arraez this offseason and the Brewers should be done with it.
In Dan Hayes’ piece, he mentioned that the odds of a trade aren’t high and that the Twins will make this deal for the right price. They want top tier pitching, but that’s primarily because all of their current pitchers will be free agents after 2023.
If they want more long-term stability in their rotation as an impetus for a trade, even Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff don’t make much sense for the Twins to fit into their plans, not that the Brewers would consider moving the either of them for Arraez anyway.
Arraez has a similar profile to the prospect version of Keston Hiura. He emerged as a second baseman but was not good there. He has been moved to first base but isn’t he too tall so he doesn’t have a super good profile there but he makes it work and plays DH. But Arraez is a real hitter and will find a spot in the lineup. He hit .316 last year and has never had a season with a batting average below .294.
That seems like what Keston Hiura should have been, although now Keston Hiura can’t hit and has no defense home. Arraez is one of the toughest outs in baseball. He has a career K rate of just 8.4%. He puts the ball in play and every team could use him at the top of their lineup, but the Brewers need someone like him especially.
Arraez, 25, has three years of team control remaining, all in arbitration, and he won’t come cheap in a trade.
The Brewers haven’t been specifically linked to Arraez, but they could make a lot of sense as a suitor. Milwaukee has some top tier pitching and they need offense.
Since the Twins are taking a longer-term view of their pitching acquisitions, Aaron Ashby may be of interest to them as a center fielder. He’s locked into a team friendly extension for the next few years and has the stuff to be a top tier starter. He will immediately go to the top of the Twins rotation in a year when they have three guys reach free agency.
It will probably take more than Ashby to get Arraez from the Twins, but it’s a good starting point. Maybe there should be a top prospect close to the big leagues thrown in there, like Esteury Ruiz or maybe Ethan Small. They might be willing to take someone further like Tyler Black or Jeferson Quero as well.
It won’t take all those names, and if it did, the Brewers wouldn’t make this trade. But they need someone who can make contact and place the ball like Arraez can. This offense can be taken to new heights with a hitter like Arraez at the top of the order.
At the very least, it’s worth a phone call from Matt Arnold of the Twins to see what it takes to lure Arraez away from Minnesota. They are considering moving him for the right deal, and the Brewers need to see if they can make the deal convincing in Minnesota.