MIAMI – The Marlins acquired reigning 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.
The 25-year-old Arraez, who is under team control through 2025, has averaged .314 over 389 career games. Although he is listed as a second baseman, Arraez will likely see most of his playing time split between first base and the designated hitter for the Marlins. They currently have only one first baseman on the 40-man roster: Garrett Cooper, who will become a free agent after the ’23 season.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Arraez becomes the first player since Rod Carew (1978-79) – also traded from the Twins – to be tied in the offseason after winning a batting title.
Adding Arraez will give Miami both impressive offensive power and much-needed depth in the field. Arraez made 60 starts at first base in 2022, while making 31 starts at second base and 34 starts as a designated hitter. Given how Cooper struggled with injuries in the second half of last season, it’s likely to be a major draw for Miami if Arraez can take the field pressure off the 32-year-old.
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 paired with ace Sandy Alcantara for a strong one-two punch on top of Miami’s rotation, making 32 starts in his first completely healthy season.
Also included in the deal is Salas, who is expected to reach the Majors in 2024. He shows off plus speed, solid arm strength and hits well from both sides of the plate. One of the Marlins’ international talents, 17-year-old Chourio was signed in January 2022 and played in the Dominican Summer League last season.