Rumors were swirling on X this week that Tampa Bay Rays all-star outfielder Randy Arozarena could be traded this offseason.
Jack Azoulay-Haron of MLBNerds reported the news on November 29.
What a bombshell!
Randy Arozarena is one of the best outfielders in Major League Baseball today. A trade from Tampa would be a blockbuster deal.
In an off-season where the biggest names in the free-agent outfield market are resurgent Cody Bellinger, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Jorge Soler, Teoscar Hernandez, Whit Merrifield, or the more unknown KBO stand-out Jung Hoo Lee, a guy like Randy Arozarena entering the fold would easily escalate to the top of any team’s wish list, especially because he is arbitration eligible through his age 31 season in 2026.
Potential Randy Arozarena Trade
If Randy Arozarena is truly available via trade, it would make sense that an organization as intelligent as the Rays would take the Juan Soto trade to the Padres as a starting point. Let’s look back at the 2022 blockbuster, shall we?
At the 2022 deadline, the Padres struck a deal to acquire a young outfielder with 2.5 years of club control along with a productive first-baseman in Josh Bell. To do so, they had to give up CJ Abrams, MacKenzie Gore, Luke Voit, Robert Hassell III, James Wood, and Jarlin Susana.
Not to relitigate a trade that’s already been done, but Abrams played 90 games in 2022 between the Padres and Nationals and was once the Padres’ top prospect and number 9 overall in baseball. Gore pitched 16 games for the Padres in 2022 and was their top pitching prospect. Hassell was their number one prospect, Wood was their third, and Susana was their 14th.
So with that in mind, the Rays would be looking at something similar for Randy: two MLB-ready prospects and three of their top prospects.
What Could the Phillies Offer?
To start, proposing mock trades is an effort in futility. No one knows what a team would look for in a trade. That said, looking at the model above for what Soto cost the Padres, I would imagine the Phillies would probably have to give up something like this in a potential trade for Randy Arozarena.
- Mick Abel, the Phillies top healthy pitching prospect, second overall.
- Justin Crawford is the top-position playing prospect and third overall.
- Aidan Miller is the second-position prospect and fourth overall.
- Johan Rojas, no longer on the prospect list but is 23-years-old and a capable MLB player
- Simon Muzziotti, AAA outfielder and 8th overall prospect
There’s always the possibility of getting a third team involved to lighten a load of trading away so many prospects. Maybe Dave Dombrowski could swing Nick Castellanos to team B, a prospect from team B to the Rays, and then two of the Phillies top prospects to the Rays for the Phillies to walk away with Arozarena. That could be a jumping-off point for a three-team trade.
Should the Phillies be interested?
If a player of Randy Arozarena’s ilk becomes available, it would behoove every front office in baseball to call and find out what the price to acquire him would be, especially the Phillies. They were on the doorstep of the World Series last season after falling two games short of winning the whole thing the previous year. The window to win is now, and a player like Arozarena could push them over the edge.
Last year, Arozarena slashed .254/.364/.425/.780. He scored 95 runs, hit 19 doubles, and three triples. He had 23 homeruns and 83 RBI with 22 stolen bases. Simply put, he is one of the most electric players in the sport. Inserting him into this lineup could make them the best roster on paper from top to bottom in the league.
That said, if the trade outlined above is the jumping-off point to acquire Randy Arozarena, I’m not sure it would be in the Phillies’ best interest to essentially clear out the farm system to acquire one player. Even if he were on the team for another two seasons, the top prospect would be Painter, followed by Griff McGarry, who profiles more as a relief pitcher at the big-league level. That’s not enough in the pipeline.
Even if they salvage a prospect or two and try for a three-team trade, I’m not sure it makes the most sense to swap out Castellanos for Randy Arozarena and still have to fill a hole in the left field, whether in free agency or have Rojas, Brandon Marsh, Jake Cave, and Cristian Pache rotate for the other two spots. This leaves the Phillies with the question of whether or not the juice is worth the squeeze. Is this truly an upgrade that moves the team any closer to winning a World Series?
It would be wise for Dombrowski to call Tampa and see what the cost would be; it doesn’t hurt to ask. But if the price is too steep, it would probably be best to look for upgrades elsewhere.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Abbie Parr