The Miami Marlins and Minnesota Twins executed a long-running trade on Friday, with American League batting champion Luis Arraez traveling to Miami for right-hander Pablo Lopez and a pair of prospects, it has been reported. .
The deal, which the teams have been discussing for months, brings a much-needed bat to the Marlins, adding to their winter signing of Jean Segura, who will play at third base.
The cost was significant, however. In addition to Lopez, a talented starter who tops Minnesota’s rotation, the Marlins will send shortstop Jose Salas and outfielder Byron Chourio, two well-regarded teenagers, to the Twins.
Arraez, 25, is a career .314 hitter with batting skills unmatched in the modern game. Last season, he made the All-Star team and finished 13th in AL MVP voting after hitting .316/.375/.420, scoring 88 points and recording more walks (50) than strikeouts (43). He is not a free agent until after the 2025 season.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Arraez is the first player to win a batting championship and then be traded in the offseason since Rod Carew won the AL batting title in 1978 with the Twins and then was traded to the Angels before the 1979 season.
Arraez joins a Marlins team with a strong rotation led by National League Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara. Miami’s roster, however, struggled hard last year, with injuries sidelining incumbent second baseman Jazz Chisholm while signed free agents Avisail Garcia and Jorge Soler disappointed.
Marlins general manager Kim Ng says Chisholm, who played midfield exclusively during his big league career, will move to center field to make room for Arraez as a second baseman. full time.
Arraez also has experience at first base — where he played more than any position last year — or an outside corner slot.
Minnesota, meanwhile, can put young slugger Jose Miranda on first base or play him on third and use Alex Kirilloff early. Lopez joins a rotation with Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan and a bag of other possibilities, from Chris Paddack – who just signed a three-year extension – to Tyler Mahle, Bailey Ober, Josh Winder, Kenta Maeda and Randy Dobnak.
Lopez, 26, threw a career-high 180 innings last season in 32 starts and recorded a 3.75 ERA. He’s long been a favorite of stat-leaning teams such as Minnesota for his ability to strike out batters (9.2 per nine innings over the past three seasons), limit walks (2.6 per nine over the same period) and keep the ball in the park. .
Salas, 19, is a top 100 prospect, who left Venezuela for $2.8 million in 2019 after growing up in the Orlando area. He finished last season in High-A and should start there again this year.
Chourio, 17, is a center fielder who shot .344/.429/.410 for Dominican Summer League team the Marlins last season.