June 25, 2024

The Miami Marlins have commenced their 2024 season with a challenging 0-8 record. Should their struggles persist, the organization might contemplate making infielder Luis Arráez available for trade, as reported by Ken Rosenthal and Dennis Lin of The Athletic. In such a scenario, could the Boston Red Sox emerge as a potential destination for the two-time Silver Slugger recipient?

Zachary D. Rymer of Bleacher Report explored potential landing spots for Arráez if Miami opts to move the 2023 MLB batting champion. The Red Sox were mentioned as one of three honorable mentions.

Luis Arráez is the best hitter alive

“With a 26.0 strikeout percentage thus far this season, the Red Sox could benefit from a contact hitter like Arráez,” Rymer commented. “However, Vaughn Grissom’s absence won’t be indefinite, and he deserves an opportunity to showcase his abilities.”

Boston acquired Grissom through a trade with the Atlanta Braves during the offseason in December, parting ways with starting pitcher Chris Sale and cash in exchange for the 23-year-old.

Arráez is under contract for $10.6 million in 2024 and is slated to become a free agent after the conclusion of the 2025 season, as per Spotrac.

Similar to the Marlins, Luis Arráez has faced a sluggish start to his 2024 campaign. In his initial 38 plate appearances, he has posted a .188/.316/.219 triple slash. Despite this, recent performances indicate that he could significantly bolster Boston’s everyday lineup.

Arráez has clinched the batting title in both leagues over the past two seasons. He registered a .316 average with the Minnesota Twins in 2022, followed by an impressive .354 mark with the Marlins in 2023, as reported by Baseball-Reference. Across 1,220 plate appearances from 2022-23, the left-handed batter has slashed .335/.384/.445.

This includes 61 doubles, four triples, 18 home runs, 118 RBI, and 159 runs scored. His outstanding performance earned him two All-Star Game selections, two Silver Slugger Awards, and two top-15 finishes in MVP voting.

Although Arráez’s current strikeout rate for 2024 stands at 15.8% over a limited sample size, his career-long strikeout rate is merely 7.7%, according to FanGraphs.

His exceptional bat-to-ball skills and knack for getting on base would be an excellent fit for the top of manager Alex Cora’s lineup. Additionally, it could allow third baseman Rafael Devers to shift down a slot, potentially offering him more RBI opportunities.

As Zachary D. Rymer pointed out in his analysis regarding a potential fit between Boston and Arráez, the Red Sox currently seem to have their middle infield positions solidified. Vaughn Grissom is expected to take up the second base role, while Trevor Story is slated as the starting shortstop.

However, if the Red Sox maintain their strong start to the season (currently 5-2 through seven games), they might seek upgrades if injuries persist. Vaughn Grissom began the season on the injured list due to a hamstring strain, with hopes of returning by the end of April, although the timeline remains uncertain as he progresses with baseball activities.

Story, on the other hand, has been healthy and has participated in all seven Red Sox games thus far. Nonetheless, he has experienced injury setbacks in recent seasons, playing in only 137 out of a possible 324 games due to injuries. Given this injury history, if Story were to face another injury this year, it could necessitate Grissom’s shift to shortstop, his natural position, potentially creating a vacancy at second base.

While this scenario could present challenges and involve numerous adjustments for the Red Sox, the possibility remains open, especially if Boston continues to exceed expectations throughout the league.

luis arráez

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