How the Minnesota Twins can trade for Nolan Arenado

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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 24: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies reacts to a strike out during the third inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on September 24, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 24: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies reacts to a strike out during the third inning against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on September 24, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /
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DENVER, COLORADO – SEPTEMBER 12: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies fields a ball hit by Jose Martinez of the St Louis Cardinals inning in the sixth inning at Coors Field on September 12, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO – SEPTEMBER 12: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies fields a ball hit by Jose Martinez of the St Louis Cardinals inning in the sixth inning at Coors Field on September 12, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

How would Arenado fit on the Twins?

Trading for a 28-year old MVP candidate should be a no-brainer, but with Arenado spending his time in Colorado, it might be forgivable if you haven’t seen him play. Arenado has been a rising star for the Rockies since debuting in 2013, making the All-Start team in each of the past five seasons. In addition to his star power, Arenado would be a terrific addition to the Twins both at the plate and defensively.

Starting with his production at the plate, Arenado has put up gaudy numbers which might be the norm even if he left hitter-friendly Coors Field. In seven seasons, Arenado has compiled a batting average of .295 and hit a high-water mark of .315 last season. In addition, he led the National League in home runs three times in 2015, 2016 and 2018 and compiled an OPS over .900 in each of the past five seasons.

While Arenado is consistent at the plate, the biggest draw for the Twins is his defensive ability. Arenado has won a gold glove in all seven Major League seasons thanks to his UZR rating (10.3 in 2019 per FanGraphs) and 17 outs above average, which led MLB last season according to Baseball Savant.

Compared to Donaldson (eight OAA in 2019) and possible trade target Kris Bryant (2 OAA), Arenado would be a surefire way to solve the Twins infield woes which saw every player with a negative OAA last season. The biggest beneficiary in this scenario may be Jorge Polanco, who ranked dead last among shortstops with -16 OAA, but adding Arenado, who saved an MLB-high 12 OAA toward shortstop would certainly cut down that number.

Defensively or offensively, Arenado is a player that keeps getting better and is a key reason the Rockies signed him to an eight-year, $260 million deal last spring, presumably making him the centerpiece of their franchise.

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