Twins, Marlins Nearing Trade Involving Array, Lopez

Months of rumors about the Marlins’ rotation finally resulted in some action, as the Marlins traded the right-hander. pablo lopeztop infield prospect jose salas and outfield prospect byron chourio Twins exchange for AL batting champion Luis ArezAccording to announcements from both the clubs.

The core of the trade, for immediate purposes, would see López being swapped for two seasons of American League batting champion, Arraz, for three years, who would be immediately upgraded to their rotation. The 26-year-old Lopez has come into his own as a quality big league starter over the past three seasons, posting a 3.52 ERA with a 25% strikeout rate, 7% walk rate and 47.4% ground-ball rate. 340 innings.

López has faced some injury problems in his career, going on the injured list three times due to a shoulder strain. The most recent of those three injuries came in the summer of 2021 and wiped out more than two months of Lopez’s season, but he was injury-free in 2022 while pitching a career-high 180 innings in 32 career starts. Last year’s performance earned Lopez a still remarkable $5.45MM salary. He will be due for another increase in arbitration in the 2023-24 off-season before he reaches free agency after the 2024 campaign – barring an extension, of course.

The newly acquired Lopez will step into a Twins rotation that also includes sonny gray, Joe Ryan And Tyler Mahle, Although it was easy to wonder whether or not Lopez could push Kenta Maida In a bullpen role after missing the entire 2022 season on the heels of internal brace surgery on his right elbow in September 2021, Dan Hayes of The Athletic tweets Maeda will remain a starter.

The odd man out of the traditional five-man rotation is 27 years old bailey ober, but the giant righty has started his big league career with a speedy 3.82 ERA in 31 starts—including a 3.21 mark in 56 innings last season. (Ober missed more than three months due to a severe groin strain.) Alternatively, the Twins could look to deploy a six-man rotation that will help them manage Maeda’s workload and hopefully There would be better health among the early workforce which was generally constrained. Injury during the 2022 season.

Meanwhile, with Arraz now subtracted from the Twins’ lineup, they will lose their leadoff man, one of their best hitters and one of their primary options at first base and designated hitter. His departure likely opens the door for the 25-year-old Alex Kirilloff to slot in as the primary first baseman. Kirilloff, a former first-round pick, was ranked as one of the game’s 10 to 15 best prospects before his big league debut, but has now had wrist surgery in each of the past two seasons. Due to which the beginning of his career got derailed. There’s a lot of upside there, but also a lot of risk. It’s always possible the Twins could add another established hitter to help ease the blow of losing Arréz, but the first base and DH markets are largely contested in free agency, so if they choose that route, So it will likely come through on other trades.

On the other side of the swap, the Marlins would get a left-handed bat that would help balance out a right-handed heavy lineup. Arréz brings perhaps the most impeccable bat-to-ball skills to Miami since debuting as a 22-year-old in 2019, fanning only 8.3% of his plate appearances. He doesn’t particularly walk. High clip, but Arz’s 8.7% mark is still higher than both his strikeout rate and last season’s league-average 8.2% walk rate.

Araz, 26, hit .316/.375/.420 in April and hit a career-high eight home runs in 2022 and is a lifetime .314/.374/.410 hitter in the Major Leagues. His contact skills are second to none and will likely always allow him to hit for a high average, but the rest of his game is limited. Arraz lacks power, evidenced by a career .096 ISO (slugging minus batting average), and his average sprint speed is below average, per Statcast.

While he debuted as a second baseman, defensive struggles left Arrez as a positional nomad. He has bounced between second base, first base, third base and left field, providing weak defensive grades at each of those positions except first base. This could be his new position in Miami, given the presence of jazz chisholm jr on other grounds and Jean Segura on third base.

Like Lopez, Arréz has some worrisome injury issues on his resume. A torn ACL during his prospect days put a damper on his 2017 season, and he has been on the injured list three times since Opening Day 2020 due to knee troubles. Arraez also spent one week on a 7-day concussion at IL in 2021 and missed nearly three weeks of that season due to a shoulder strain.

Arraez is arbitration-eligible for the second time this season and, as a Super Two player, still has two arbitration years remaining beyond the current campaign. He and the Twins could not come to an agreement before last week’s deadline to exchange arbitration data; The Twins filed in at the $5MM mark, while Arraez’s camp countered with a $6.1MM submission. Now that he’s with a new team, it’s possible that Arrerez could agree to a one-year deal somewhere in between those points, or maybe even discuss a longer deal. If not, subsequent arbitration increases will take his salary north of $10MM by his final year of club control in 2025.

For the Marlins, dropping López from the rotation leaves them in a position to deploy one of the starting five Sandy Alcantara, jesus lujardo, trevor rogers, Edward Cabrera And braxton garrettThere are still many intriguing sides waiting in the wings behind that quintet. Arraez will deepen and strengthen a weak Miami lineup, and the organization’s rotation depth is strong enough to withstand the loss of Lopez.

However, there is no doubt that both the acquisition of Arrez and last week’s trade will hurt the defense. miguel rojas, The Marlins now need Chisholm, Segura or joey wendall Setting up arrays at shortstop, and on first base push Garrett Cooper For the designated hitter or outfield corner. If Cooper DH has the option, he’ll push Jorge Soler Back in the outfield. all signs then point to someone like brian de la cruz, who is best suited for the corner job, is again being mistaken as a center fielder. Overall, the juggling act of dropping Rojas and adding Arraz in the name of improving balance and lineup could have the unfortunate side effect of dropping Miami from a middle-of-the-pack defensive club to the worst club in the National League.

The deal likely has long-term plays for both Twins, making them some curious secondary pieces for a team clearly making a bid for immediate contention in the wake of their stellar deal to re-sign. Carlos Correa, That said, recent trades for Mahle, Gray and others have thinned out the Twins’ system considerably, so backfilling with some young talent helps stretch the lineup for both the short and long term. .

Salas is particularly well regarded, originally signing for a $2.8MM bonus and currently ranked fourth in Miami’s system in Baseball America. He’s a shortstop for the time being, though BA’s scouting reports suggest a move to third base is possible, depending on the extent to which his still-lean frame grows. The switch-hitting Salas batted .250/.339/.384 against much older competition in 2022, splitting the year between Class-A and Class-A Advanced despite only turning 19 this April.

Sala connected with nine homers and swiped 33 bases in 109 games. The scouting report on Salas spoke of his work ethic, his feel for contact and at least average hitting ability. He will immediately become one of the Twins’ top overall prospects, but he won’t add any value to their 2023 club (except perhaps giving them more flexibility when it comes to negotiating additional trades).

Chorio is even younger, having signed as an amateur from Venezuela a year and five days ago. Despite playing a season at just 17, the switch-hitting outfielder took the Dominican Summer League by storm, posting a .344/.429/.410 clip with a homer, nine doubles, 19 steals and almost as many walks (25 ) as strikeouts (27) in 217 plate appearances.

Chowrio won’t even turn 18 until May, so even by wildly optimistic projections he’s still three years away from being a legitimate big league prospect, and it’s quite likely that he’s well beyond that. Still, there’s a lot to like about him despite his lack of closeness to Major. In addition to his flashy pro debut, Ben Badler of Baseball America praised Chowrio’s physical launch, strong throwing arm, center field instincts and balanced swing when reviewing the Marlins’ international signing class last year.

Today’s trade ends months of speculation and rumors about Lopez, who finally knows where he will spend at least the next two seasons of his career. It’s possible, given Miami’s depth and their needs elsewhere on the roster, that they could move into that group in an effort to strengthen the lineup and reshape an increasingly questionable defense. On the Twins’ end of things, Lopez isn’t clearly better than any of their in-house options, but they’ll add another mid-rotation arm to a starting staff deep in comparable talent, help with injury prevention, and some Will add stability beyond the current season, when Gray, Mahle and Maida could each become free agents. They will also restore a farm system that has been taxed by recent trades, but the swap seems more like the next step than the final piece of an off-season puzzle.

Ken Rosenthal and Dan Hayes of The Athletic First Reported Both teams were inching towards a deal involving Arraz and López. Jeff Passon of ESPN Reported The deal was done. Craig Mish of SportsGrid and the Miami Herald reported the names of two prospects moving back to Minnesota (Twitter Link,

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