The Miami Marlins and Minnesota Twins have reportedly agreed to a trade that will send AL batting champion Luis Arraez to Miami. In exchange for Arraez, Miami will send starting pitcher Pablo López and two prospects. Per sources, the prospects involved in the deal are shortstop Jose Salas and outfielder Byron Chourio. Per MLB Pipeline, Salas is a 19-year-old who is rated as the fifth-ranked prospect for Miami. This is a trade that satisfies the needs of both teams and could prove to be very beneficial.
Trade news: All-Star second baseman Luis Arraez is going to the Miami Marlins and right-hander Pablo Lopez is headed to the Minnesota Twins, sources tell ESPN. Deal is done. Players are being informed right now. More are involved.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 20, 2023
What the Trade Means for Each Team
The reporting all winter has indicated that the Marlins were in the market for a bat. They have been in on players such as Justin Turner, José Abreu, and Bryan Reynolds. Arraez seems like a more logical option with the steep price for Reynolds. He provides them with a high-average, low-strikeout bat that can play either first or second base. In four seasons with Minnesota, Arraez has hit .314/.384/.410, good for a .784 OPS. Even greater, he has more walks than strikeouts in his career, 137-131, which is a rarity in today’s game. 2022 was Arraez’s best season as he hit posted 4.4 bWAR, batted .316 with eight home runs, and a .795 OPS. He made the all-star team, won a Silver Slugger, and even picked up some down-ballot MVP votes. As Miami continues toward competitive relevancy, they can do much worse than slotting Arraez into the top of the lineup.
Pablo López has been on the trade block for a long time. At the 2022 trade deadline, the Marlins nearly had a deal in place that would have sent Lopez to the Yankees. What the Twins lack is a true top-tier starting pitcher. Sonny Gray and Kenta Maeda have pitched like aces at times, and the potential of young starters like Joe Ryan is apparent. However, they are not top-tier pitchers. While López is not exactly that either, he could still be a real difference-maker. Lopez is coming off a year in which he made 32 starts, pitching 180 innings to the tune of a 3.75 ERA and 3.71 FIP. The upside in the right-hander is easy to see, as he posted a 2.86 first-half ERA in 2022 before cooling off in the second half. If Minnesota can get the best out of López for a full season, he can make a real difference. Best of all, he’s only 26 years old and still has two more years until free agency. Salas and Chourio are very young prospects who are at least a few years away from the majors.
Final Thoughts on the Trade
Luis Arraez is no Bryan Reynolds, but he is an upgrade for an offense that ranked 27th in batting average and OPS last year. Pablo Lopez is a young, controllable, mid-rotation starter with some upside. On the whole, Minnesota’s roster remains relatively unchanged from the one that won 78 games last year. This move won’t make them the favorites for the AL Central title but will improve their chances for playoff contention. On the other hand, adding Arraez to the lineup won’t make Miami a contender, but he is a solid hitter who will immediately improve their lineup.
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