With the Winter Meetings going on, it’s always fun to think outside the box about what could possibly happen to catch you off guard. Earlier this offseason, Marc Topkin brought up the idea that if the price was right, the Tampa Bay Rays could look into trading Randy Arozarena. Maybe that sounds asinine and far-fetched to you, but we are talking about the Rays here.
I want to say I can’t see this happening. The Rays are one of the better-run teams in baseball as evident from their continued development and success throughout their system, all the while having a low payroll. He’s under team control through 2026 but will have four years of arbitration as a super-two player. He’s also going to be 28 this year.
Could they actually look to move him to get some younger players and restock the system even more? I wouldn’t put it past them. He’s not going to be cheap to obtain, and would honestly pull something in that same window as what it would take to get Bryan Reynolds from the Pirates.
Let’s take a look at what it would cost to get someone like Randy Arozarena to the Mariners
Arozarena plays alright defense, and can likely give you something close to average in left field. That’s a big upgrade from Winker, and even with Hernandez in one corner and Arozarena in the other, the team would be fine having those two paired with Julio in center.
It’s the offense though. That’s what we want. Over the last three seasons, Arozarena has posted a slash line of .269/.343/.462 with a 130 OPS+. We’ve seen his K rate go down, although he did walk less as well in 2022. Throw in the fact that he is capable of a 20/20 season and 30-40 2Bs, and you’ve got a really strong contestant for a leadoff spot in the Mariners lineup.
The increased base size could be a massive boon for someone as aggressive as Arozarena. He has led the AL in CS the last two seasons, going 20 for 30 in 2021 and 32 for 44 in 2022. A 40 SB season seems well within the realms of possibility for Arozarena.
We aren’t getting him for cheap though, and it’s going to cost serious assets to get him in. Flexen gives them an instant rotation piece to eat innings this year. Kelenic seems like a perfect player to come around in Tampa and figure it out. With how much the Rays love pitching prospects, two of our top ones in Miller and Hancock would likely be needed to make it work.
The Mariners could try and use someone like Prelander Berroa or Taylor Dollard instead, maybe even Walter Ford. With how close Miller and Hancock are to the bigs, I think they would prefer two of the four from Berroa, Dollard, Miller, or Hancock.
Normally, I wouldn’t go with something like this. However, having someone like Topkin bring it up though makes me think about what it would take to make the deal happen. Think about what the Mariners lineup could look like if they brought in Arozarena.
- Arozarena – LF
- France – 1B
- Julio – CF
- Hernandez – RF
- Suarez – 3B
- Dumper – C
- Wong – 2B
- Moore – DH
- Crawford – SS
The DH spot is the only weird one. I would rather use Moore’s defense over either of those corner guys and move them to DH, but for the most part, I think those are the guys that slot in with people rotating through the corners and DH spot.
I’m not saying that Tampa is going to make him available. What I am saying is that if Jerry and Co want to make it happen, I think you could give them a call. You’d make this offer and likely keep the conversation going. If the Mariners aren’t going to sign anyone in free agency, then making a big splash like Randy Arozarena might just be what has to happen.