MIAMI — The Marlins acquired defending American League batting champion and All-Star infielder Luis Arraez from the Twins on Friday for right-hander Pablo López and two prospects, infielder Jose Salas (No. 5 in the Marlins system) and outfielder Byron Chourio.
Arraez, 25, who is under team control through 2025, is averaging .314 in 389 career games. Although listed as a second baseman, Arraez will likely see most of his playing time split between first base and designated hitter for the Marlins. They currently only have one first baseman on the 40-man roster: Garrett Cooper, who is expected to become a free agent after Season 23.
Arraez becomes the first player since Rod Carew (1978-79) — also traded from the Twins — to be dealt in the offseason after winning a batting title, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
By adding Arraez, Miami gains both impressive offensive strength and much-needed downfield depth. Arraez has made 60 starts at first base in 2022, while making 31 starts at second base and 34 at the designated hitter. Considering how Cooper struggled with injuries in the second half of last season, having Arraez able to relieve the 32-year-old’s on-court pressure is likely a major draw for Miami.
López, who turns 27 in March and is under team control through 2024, has a 3.94 ERA over five seasons (94 starts) with the Marlins. Last year, López teamed up with ace Sandy Alcantara to provide a solid brace at the top of Miami’s rotation, making a career-high 32 starts in his first season in full health.
Salas, who is expected to reach the Majors by 2024, is also included in the deal. He boasts more speed, solid arm strength and hits well from both sides of the plate. Chourio, 17, one of the Marlins’ international prospects, was signed in January 2022 and played in the Dominican Summer League last season.