Twins just gave Yankees big opportunity by dangling Luis Arraez trade

Adam Weinrib
CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 18: Luis Arraez #2 of the Minnesota Twins warms up prior to a game against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field on September 18, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 18: Luis Arraez #2 of the Minnesota Twins warms up prior to a game against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field on September 18, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ben Jackson/Getty Images) /
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DJ LeMahieu insurance for the Yankees? Check.

The type of contact bat that LeMahieu typically brings, but at three times the ferocity of Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s lumber? Check.

The literal American League batting champ, who can play anywhere and everywhere (well, mostly first, second and DH)? You bet.

While the New York Yankees currently employ a never-ending trail of infielders, one of them — LeMahieu — might be down for the count at the start of the season. One of them — Gleyber Torres — could be traded in the coming days. One of them — Josh Donaldson — shouldn’t be in New York in 2023, and won’t be back in 2024. One of them — Kiner-Falefa — is a stopgap who’s stopping the gap one year too long.

You know what they say: When you have seven solutions to a problem, you actually have none. You know what else they say? When the American League leader in batting average in Luis Arraez is available in exchange for young pitching entering his age-26 season, you find some young pitching and add Torres to the deal.

Yankees should make Twins trade offer for Luis Arraez

If the Yankees hadn’t already dealt Ken Waldichuk to the Oakland A’s in last summer’s Frankie Montas deal, this would be an excellent opportunity to do just that. Alas.

Arraez, a free agent after 2025, is bat-first in the best way and found his footing in 2022 after stalling out a bit after an excellent 2019 debut. His OPS+ mark of 130 was his best since his partial rookie season, but even in Arraez’s “down” 2021 season, he still finished over the baseline offensively (105, .294 average). The Twins slasher doesn’t grade out fantastically in the power department, but still takes the occasional light-tower shot, making fans believe there’s something left to be unlocked there (especially if he were given access to, uh, a pretty short porch).

Ultimately, there are probably teams out there who will be more aggressive than the Yankees on Arraez — the Brewers, after trading Kolten Wong, come to mind. New York can offer a ready-made second baseman who wouldn’t be a downgrade, though, in addition to young pitching like Will Warren and Drew Thorpe.

Worth considering, if the Twins actually intend to pull a very strange trigger here (while simultaneously losing Carlos Correa).

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