The Yankees have been hyper-focused on adding pitching support over the past few weeks, but they have a chance to make a blockbuster move to build one of the best offenses in baseball.
There’s a strong argument that having Aaron Judge and Juan Soto already makes the Yankees a tantalizing offensive group, but what if they were able to land Luis Arraez of the Miami Marlins, the 2023 batting title winner?
Arraez is 26 years old and the Miami Marlins have two more years left of team control before he inevitably walks in free agency. There’s no way that Miami is going to splash the cash for Arraez, so maximizing his value now and trading him for young prospects with upside may be in their best interest to continue building for the future and keeping costs down.
According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, there is reason to believe that Arraez could be on the table, but his fit with the Yankees is obvious.
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The Yankees Would Get Much Better Making This Move
General manager Brian Cashman may not be able to find a better leadoff hitter than Arraez, who’s coming off a season where he hit .354/.393/.469. He hit 10 homers, the first time he’s touched double digits in that category, but would’ve hit 13 in Yankee Stadium with his lefty bat.
One of his most impressive statistics is his strikeout percentage, which clocked in at just 5.5% this past season, an almost unrealistic number. He’s only gone above single digits regarding strikeout percentage once in his career during the 2021 season when he still hit .294/.357/.376.
If the Yankees want a bat who’s going to get on base at an astronomical clip ahead of Judge and Soto, Arraez is built in a lab to feature in that role. The team has also focused on supporting their efficiency with runners in scoring position.
Well, Arraez is dominant in that category as well, hitting .434/.500/.566, including a 1.066 OPS across 106 at-bats with RISP. These are simply incredible metrics that represent one of the best hitters in baseball, and he may be up for grabs.
The question is: What would the Yankees have to give up in return for a player that has two more years left of control, represents decent defense, and an unparalleled bat?
Well, it would have to start out with one of the Yankees’ top young prospects, but they may be able to hold on to Spencer Jones and Chase Hampton. Floating Roderick Arias may be a good starting point, a young switch-hitting shortstop the Yankees spent all their international money on last year to acquire.
Arias ended his 2023 season short due to a hand injury, but he was tearing up the Florida Complex League and is primed to fly through the Yankees’ minor league system.
On top of that, they would have to sell the idea of Oswald Peraza and potentially Everson Pereira. The Marlins need infield support and Peraza could start instantly at a cheap cost. While it is possible they would have to part ways with either Jones or Hampton, for a player like Arraez, it’s a worthwhile expense.
If the Yankees truly want to make a strong push at a World Series over the next two seasons, everybody should be on the table in their minor league system for a player as talented as Arraez. There’s also the Gleyber Torres angle of this equation, who would have his position poached. The Yanks could try to flip Torres with a year of control to a team that could realistically extend him after 2024 (ideally for pitching). The Marlins are trying to clear salary space, so Torres doesn’t make much sense on a rental deal earning $14.2 million in his final year of arbitration.
With that being said, Torres is solid but Arraez is simply elite, and this would be an easy decision if the Yankees found a way to make it work.