It’s hard to believe but we are just a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training and the hot stove is still burning. New players are still entering the rumor mill as Miami Marlins infielder and two-time batting champion Luis Arraez has been mentioned in trade rumors. If he is dealt, he will command a very high asking price, and immediately become one of the most sought-after players on the market.
Arraez came up with the Minnesota Twins as a utility player and because of his bat, he forced himself into the Twins lineup every day, often playing all over the field. He split time between second base, third base, and first base, he even played a little in left field.
After beating out Aaron Judge for the AL batting title in his first full season he was dealt to the Marlins for ace Pablo Lopez and quickly established himself as the game’s best contact hitter. Now that he is on the market again, here are three possible Luis Arraez trade destinations.
Three Potential Landing Spots For Luis Arraez
1. The New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are the most obvious fit for the career .326 hitter. Despite acquiring Juan Soto earlier in the offseason the Yankees’ offense could still use another bat to create more balance in the lineup. Outside of Soto, Judge, and Gleyber Torres, the lineup looks unreliable and one-dimensional. Players like Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu, and Anthony Rizzo who are in the back end of their careers likely won’t be able to produce enough to keep the Yankees alive in the playoff race. A reliable bat like Arraez at the top of the lineup would go a long way to ensuring the offense produces consistently in 2024.
Additionally, the two-time Silver Slugger is entering his age 27 season and still has two more years of control, making him an even better fit for a Yankees team that is looking to reopen its competitive window. The downside of an Arraez deal for the Yankees would be the return. The Marlins would want top prospects in the upper levels of the minors, a commodity the Yankees would be more likely to use to acquire pitching. If the Yankees and Marlins could come together on an agreement, Arraez would be an excellent fit for their offense and create a more balanced lineup than the Yankees have had in years.
2. The Seattle Mariners
Luis Arraez could be a major add for a Seattle Mariners roster that seriously lacks offense from its infielders. In 2023, the Mariners’ second basemen were bottom 10 in the league in offensive production by wRC+, and with Eugenio Suarez traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks the Mariners will rely almost entirely on shortstop JP Crawford for production from the infield. Also, the Mariners struggled with reaching base consistently last year, finishing 15th in OBP, and with the departures of Suarez and outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, much of the power that kept the Mariners’ offense afloat in 2023 has left.
With one trade the Mariners could get a lot of that offense back and create a more balanced lineup that gets production from all over the diamond. Not only is Arraez’s offensive profile a perfect fit for the Mariners but his ability to play every infield position except shortstop would be extremely valuable for a Mariners infield that has more questions than answers.
It’s tough to know what they’re going to get from inconsistent players like Josh Rojas, Luis Urias, and Dylan Moore, and they are all set to be major parts of both this infield and this offense. Some certainty in the lineup would be of immense value for a team looking to return to the postseason and it doesn’t get more certain than a player who hasn’t hit below .294 in any season of his professional baseball career. The Mariners have pitching and they have a solid outfield, the only thing left to fix is the infield and they have the prospect capital to make a deal happen.
3. The San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants finally got the star free agent they’ve been looking for in Jung Hoo Lee but there is still work to be done before this is a competitive roster. They have a young pitching staff that will keep the team afloat but the offense ranked a meager 24th in the league in scoring. While Lee is a major addition, the lineup could still use more help and there is no one better than the Marlins’ two-time batting champion.
The problem is current Giants second baseman Thairo Estrada is actually quite good, putting up average offense and elite defense for an impressive fWAR of 3.9. That means Arraez would likely have to switch positions or play all over the field like he did when he was on the Twins. He could move around the diamond with fellow muti-positional players Wilmer Flores, JD Davis, and Lamonte Wade Jr. He would certainly find his way into the lineup every game and provide the table-setter this offense sorely needs. Just that one addition could vault the Giants from a mediocre team to a legitimate wild-card contender.
Luis Arraez is one of the best hitters in the game, he was the first player to flirt with a .400 average in decades and is just entering his prime. He is young, controllable, and affordable which also makes him an extremely valuable trade target. While it is far from a certainty that he will be traded, Arraez being on the market presents a tantalizing possibility for almost every competitive team.
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