The Milwaukee Brewers need offense. Their best qualified hitter in 2022 hit just .255 on the season. Their second-best qualified hitter hit .251 on the year. Those players were Hunter Renfroe and Kolten Wong. Both have since been traded away.
In short, the Brewers need help on offense. They need guys that get hits and get on base frequently. No one gets hits more often than a reigning league batting champion. And one of them just hit the trade market.
At the Winter Meetings, rumors have surfaced that the Minnesota Twins are open to trading AL batting champion Luis Arraez this offseason and the Brewers should be all over this.
In Dan Hayes' piece, he discusses that the likelihood of a trade isn't high and that the Twins would ony do 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 wouldn't make much sense for the Twins to fit into their plans, not that the Brewers would consider moving either of them for Arraez anyway.
Arraez has a similar profile to the prospect version of Keston Hiura. He came up as a second baseman but isn't great there. He's been moved to first base but isn't that tall so he doesn't profile super well there but he makes it work and plays DH a bunch. But Arraez is a true hitter and will find some place in the lineup. He hit .316 last year and has never had a season with a batting average below .294.
That sounds a lot like what Keston Hiura was supposed to be, although now Keston Hiura can't hit and is without a defensive 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 atop their lineup, but the Brewers need someone like him especially.
Arraez, 25, has three years of team control remaining, all in arbitration, and he will not come cheap in a trade.
The Brewers have not been specifically linked to Arraez, but they would make a lot of sense as a suitor. Milwaukee does have some top tier pitching and they need offense.
Because the Twins are looking more long-term with their pitching acquisitions, Aaron Ashby could be of interest to them as a centerpiece. He's already locked into a team friendly extension for years to come and has the stuff to be a top tier starter. He would instantly go to the top of the Twins rotation in a year when they have three guys reaching free agency.
It would most likely take more than just Ashby to get Arraez away from the Twins, but it's a good starting point. There may have to be a top prospect that's close to the big leagues thrown in there as well, such as Esteury Ruiz or maybe Ethan Small. Maybe they'd be willing to take someone a little further away like Tyler Black or Jeferson Quero as well.
It wouldn't take all those names, and if it did, the Brewers wouldn't do this trade. But they need someone who can make contact and put the ball in play like Arraez can. This offense could 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 to the Twins to see what it would take to pry Arraez away from Minnesota. They're considering moving him for the right deal, and the Brewers need to find out if they can make the deal that convinces Minnesota.