MIAMI — The Marlins on Friday acquired American League batting champion and All-Star infielder Luis Arraz from the Twins for right-hander Pablo Lopez and two prospects, infielder Jose Salas (No. 5 in the Marlins system) and outfielder Byron Chorio. ,
Arréz, 25, who is under team control until 2025, has a .314 average through 389 career games. In ’22, he drew a career-high 50 walks to lead the Twins while striking out only 43 times, making him the only Major League player to strike out fewer than 50 times in at least 500 plate appearances.
Marlin receives: INF Luis Arrez
Twins get: RHP Pablo Lopez, INF Jose Salas (Marlins No. 5 prospect), Byron Chorio
“There are a lot of young people out there like me,” Arraz said. “I’m excited to play [around] a lot of people from Venezuela, from [the Dominican Republic]from Puerto Rico.
“I’m hoping that I give a lot of energy to the Marlins fans, to my teammates, to the coaching staff, to everybody out there. I go out there to win a lot of games.”
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Arraz became the first player since Rod Carew (1978–79) – also traded from the Twins (to the Angels) – to be dealt the off-season after winning a batting title.
By adding Arraz, Miami gains both impressive offensive power and much-needed infield depth. Although listed as a second baseman, Arréz played first base for more games (60) in 2022 than second base (31) or designated hitter (34). But the Marlins want Arrez back at second. To do that, they have a major mover in the works: Jazz Chisholm Jr. Sliding into center field.
“The Jazz are very open-minded about it,” general manager Kim Ng told reporters via Zoom. ,[He] Seemed enthusiastic. … Jazz is a very unique athlete. very dynamic. He’s got great range, great speed. He’s got a lot of the things you look for when you’re thinking about center field.”
The Marlins had received inquiries about López since the middle of the season, and rightly so. López, who will turn 27 in March and will be under team control until 2024, has a 3.94 ERA in five seasons (94 starts) with the Marlins. Last year, Lopez teamed with ace Sandy Alcantara to provide a strong one-two punch atop Miami’s rotation, making a career-high 32 starts.
Interest in the twins has grown over the past two weeks, and it turned into serious conversation around Tuesday. It helped that the Marlins officially signed veteran starter Johnny Cueto on Thursday. Alcantara and Cueto top the rotation, along with Jesús Luzardo (100 1/3 innings in 2022), Trevor Rogers (133), Edward Cabrera (71 2/3) and Braxton Garrett (88), the starting pitching for Miami. There is surplus. And that’s not to mention the current and former prospects getting close to their returns.
“Pitching is our strength, and that’s our foundation,” Ng said. “I think it was a pretty good baseball trade for both clubs. … This offseason definitely felt a little bit like, you know, ‘The Little Engine That Can.’ It was a slow build. But we finally got to a better place.”
The deal also includes Salas, who is expected to reach the majors by 2024. He boasts plus speed, solid arm strength, and hits well from both sides of the plate. One of the Marlins’ international prospects, the 17-year-old Chorio signed in January 2022 and played in the Dominican Summer League last season.
Edwards, who is Miami’s No. 16 prospect per MLB Pipeline, is expected to reach the big leagues this season, while Amaya — a shortstop — is ranked No. 12 and likely to be in the majors for the Marlins at some point. this season after making his 2022 debut.
With Arrez in the fold, the Marlins are building an infield — and a lineup — to match their starting pitching depth. Are they doing tricks?
“We always want to improve,” Ng said. “You always have to listen. The off-season is the off-season – there are several weeks left here before we move on to spring training. So I think we’ll always be looking for the next deal.”