Why Mets Should Pursue Luis Arraez amid Latest Carlos Carrasco, MLB Trade Rumors

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2022

Luis Arráez
Luis ArráezMichael Reaves/Getty Images

The Minnesota Twins won big in free agency on Friday with the official signing of coveted catcher Christian Vázquez. They also reached an agreement with outfielder Joey Gallo.

Vázquez, who is fresh off his second World Series win, reached a three-year agreement with Minnesota earlier in the week.

Pete Abraham @PeteAbe

Update: Three-year deal for Christian Vazquez with the Twins.

Gallo is joining on a one-year deal, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.

Minnesota's new additions come in shortly after former Twins shortstop Carlos Correa agreed to join the San Francisco Giants.

According to The Athletic's Dan Hayes, Minnesota offered more in annual salary, but it wasn't enough for a franchise that hasn't won a playoff series since 2002.

What's next for the Twins as they look to return to contention in the American League? According to Hayes, Minnesota may turn to the trade market—with Sonny Gray, Kenta Maeda and Luis Arraez drawing interest.

Per Hayes, Arraez is a player Minnesota would "consider dealing as part of a package for a prominent pitcher."

If Arraez is available, the New York Mets would be wise to make a run at him.

The Mets—who are loaded in the pitching rotation after adding Koudai Senga to a group that also includes Jose Quintana, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander—are reportedly looking to move a pitcher of their own.

"The Mets are listening to trade offers on Carlos Carrasco," Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote. "They believe the rise in free-agent prices, notably for starting pitchers, will make Carrasco an appealing piece at one year and $14 million for all of those shut out of the pricey market. Think teams such as the Twins, Royals and probably at least five or six more."

Would a package that includes Carrasco interest the Twins? That's debatable. Like Gray and Maeda, Carrasco is set to be a free agent next year, and the 35-year-old probably isn't considered a "prominent" pitcher.

However, Carrasco is a solid starter who went 15-7 last season. If the Twins believe they're building a strong playoff team, they could be interested. Carrasco's $14 million salary for 2023 is reasonable.

New York would undoubtedly have to include more in a trade offer for Arráez, who is under team control through 2025. but it's absolutely worth an exploratory inquiry. Arráez, the reigning AL batting champion, would be an ideal fit for the Mets.

New York favors an offense that plays for contact rather than power. The Mets ranked second in batting average last season (.259) but only 15th in home runs (171). Adding a combination of power and efficiency to the lineup would be ideal, which may be part of the reason why the Mets were also interested in Correa before he joined the Giants.

According to Hayes, Andy McCullough and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Mets' plan was to play Correa at third base.

Arraez, a utility infielder, could slot right in at third, and while he might not possess the power of Correa (only eight home runs in 2022 versus 22), he'd still provide a huge offensive boost.

En route to the batting title, Arraez hit .316 with 49 RBI. He was more efficient than Correa in both BA and on-base percentage (.375 versus .366).

Of course, the question isn't whether Arraez would be right for the Mets, it's whether they could possibly pry him from Minnesota. Carrasco could start the conversation.

According to Hayes, McCullough and Rosenthal, catcher James McCann and third baseman Eduardo Escobar could also be made available, and possibly others: "The Mets may also have to explore interest in top prospects like Brett Baty and Mark Vientos."

The Mets owe it to themselves to find out exactly what Arraez would cost. Franchise owner Steve Cohen has shown that he's unafraid to spend big on win-now moves, and adding Arraez is exactly the sort of deal that could help bring New York its first playoff series win since 2016.