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The Twins' craft of batting craftsman Luis Arraez doesn't go down well

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The only defense for the Twins trading Luis Arraez on Friday is that pitching is more expensive than hitting in Major League Baseball today.

Terry Ryan, the former general manager of the Twins, used a 2-8 system for his scouts to evaluate players – prospects, minor leaguers and major leaguers who might be involved in trades.

Eight was an All-World, 7 was a perennial All-Star, 6 was a well above average daily player or top tier starter, 5 was an average daily player or mid rotation starter… and down the list.

“I gave Joe Mauer an 8 when I was a high school student,” said Mike Radcliff, Twins vice president for players. “And he was there as a major leaguer. There weren’t many of those.”

As a believer in the strength of the eye test, I was trying to figure out seismic trading – at least here in Minnesota – and decided on the following:

The Twins had to give up a “6” player in Arraez to get a “5” starter in Pablo Lopez.

Derek Falvey, CEO of the Baseball Twins, wasn’t asked to confirm that assessment in a brief conversation on Friday, but he admitted:

“Acquiring pitching is very expensive nowadays.”

He also said that Arraez was the player Miami wanted to give up Lopez – just Arraez – and the twins ultimately decided that adding a starter was more important than retaining an exceptional hitter who will turn 26 in April.

Byron Buxton’s ongoing injury problems have turned Arraez into the Twins’ most popular player, and fans tend to put an exclamation point on that:

They gave up an American League batting champion!

The silver baton is perhaps the sport’s most iconic trophy, and Luis will make the most of it, but whether or not he took the Triple Crown from Yankee judge Aaron is not the issue here.

Even though he swung a lot more than most, he was the source of excellent battles – long, quality hitting with 43 strikeouts between regulars and semi-regulars, with 603 plate appearances.

Carlos Correa, hitting second, will miss those six or seven shots that Arraez allowed him to see from a pitcher. As shortstops, Correa might like to target the 6-5 Joey Gallo at first base instead of the 5-10 Arraez, but he won’t learn much by watching Gallo’s ABs — usually a race between drawing a walk or putting out.

That competition has been a blast in 2022, with Gallo striking out an impressive 163 times, compared to 56 hits, in 410 plate appearances. At least he batted . 160, just 156 points below Arraez.

I feel like this has been used before, but it’s worth another cheap try:

Who would have guessed that the #1 void the Twins would decide to fill in free agency was bringing in Gallo to replace Miguel Sano’s eliminations?

Falvey praised Arraez in the Zoom interview he shared with Lopez (brilliant fellow) on Friday afternoon, but there was a clear disconnect between the group of brains and Arraez.

Luis is said to have turned down a contract offer from the Twins before last season. And he ended up being the only player among the eight eligible for arbitration in this round to request a hearing.

Bottom line: Arraez felt he was more valuable to the Twins than he had been in at least the past two seasons.

Conclusion: The vast majority of fans agree with Arraez.

No matter what reviews or social media we read, trading Arraez won’t cost the twins in ticket sales. A massive majority of people who make threats not to go to another game haven’t been to one since they made $1 as a little leaguer at the Metrodome.

Plus, the Twins are already at their lowest point of ticket sales in two decades – and that was with Luis winning the AL batting title, which is named after Rod Carew.

There were rumors that Carew would come to town for Thursday’s Diamond Awards to personally congratulate Arraez. That’s out of the question now.

What probably won’t end is Carew watching Marlins games on a baseball package in California, seeing Arraez show up a few times, and texting him to stop standing and go back to crouching.

Sir Rodney should have Luis’s phone number by now, so he won’t need Dick Bremer as a go-between.

Good luck, Luis.

Those of us who admire a craftsman and don’t smell monsters on the plate will miss him more than the brains of the twins.