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Minnesota Twins trade MLB’s batting champ Luis Arraez to Miami Marlins for Pablo Lopez

Luis Arraez
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Just 10 days after the Minnesota Twins re-signed Carlos Correa, they have agreed to trade the 2022 MLB batting champion, Luis Arraez, to the Miami Marlins. In return, the Twins will receive right-handed starting pitcher Pablo Lopez, according to Ken Rosenthal.

This is just what we know for now. More details are coming, which will likely include other players and prospects. Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports the Twins will be sending out Arraez for Lopez, but will also be receiving two prospects from the Marlins, one of which is a “top one“.

Infielder Jose Salas, who’s ranked as Miami’s No. 5 prospect according to MLB.com, is also headed to the Twins, according to Craig Mish. The other prospect headed to Minnesota in the trade is outfielder Byron Chourio.

This story will continue to be updated with further analysis and information.

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Evaluating the Pablo Lopez trade for the Minnesota Twins

MLB: Miami Marlins at Milwaukee Brewers
Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Looking to improve their pitching staff, not only for this season but also for the future, the Twins add Lopez, who is under team control through 2024. This is key, considering the Twins only had Joe Ryan, Chris Paddack, and Bailey Ober under contract past 2023. Lopez is under contract for $5.45 million this season.

Alright, so the contract situation makes sense, but what about Lopez, the player? He’s a 26-year-old right-handed starting pitcher who was on the mound for 180 innings last season for Miami, 33 more innings than any other Twins pitcher in 2022. Not only did Lopez show his durability, he also pitched quite well.

He may not be the new staff ace, but Lopez will help solidify the front end for a rotation that is expecting a resurgence from several pitchers returning from injury, including Kenta Maeda and, eventually, Paddack. If Correa truly wanted to see the Twins continue to improve the staff, one could say the front office did just that, but it comes at the heavy cost of trading the team’s most consistent hitter.

Salas is a 19-year-old switch-hitting infielder who continues to add strength and gain a better feel for the strike zone. He also has above-average speed and a strong arm. Many project him to stick at shortstop, but he could ultimately land at second or third, depending on how he continues to develop. He was in advanced A-ball for the Marlins, meaning Salas is likely at least a year or two away from reaching the majors.

The final prospect, Chourio, is just 17 and is coming off his first season with the Marlins. Chourio hit for a .344 average while swiping 19 bases while playing over 300 innings in the outfield without committing an error. But as his age suggests, he’s a long way from contributing.

  • Twins trade grade: B

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Evaluating the Luis Arraez trade for the Miami Marlins

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins
Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
  • Miami Marlins receive: INF Luis Arraez

Simply put, the Marlins just added one of the best hitters in baseball. There’s a reason why Arraez beat out Aaron Judge and every other player in the MLB to take home the batting title in 2022. His eye is second to none. While Arraez may have a very unconventional approach at the plate, it’s impossible to argue his impact.

Not only did Arraez hit .316 last season, he somehow walks more than he strikes out. And this isn’t just a recent string of success either. Arraez has walked 137 times compared to just 131 strikeouts in his career.

Better yet, Arraez doubled his previous career-high home run total by socking eight dingers a season ago. It’s true that he doesn’t exactly have a defined home on defense, and his best position might be at first base, but there are few others who can compare to what the 25-year-old brings to the plate.

Arraez is under team control until 2026, giving the Marlins a new face of the franchise aside from Sandy Alcantara. He may not be the team’s best fielder, he won’t add speed to the basepaths, but good luck finding a better table-setter who constantly wears down the opposing pitcher. Arraez may have made his first All-Star appearance a season ago, but if he can stay healthy, it’s not a stretch to say he can achieve many more in a Marlins uniform.

  • Marlins trade grade: A-

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