Twins trade batting champ Arraez to Marlins for Pablo Lopez, prospects

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The Minnesota Twins traded American League batting champion Luis Arraez to the Miami Marlins for right-hander Pablo Lopez and prospects Jose Salas and Byron Chourio, they announced Friday.

Marlins general manager Kim Ng said Arraez will play second base, according to Craig Mish of the Miami Herald.

Ng added that All-Star Jazz Chisholm Jr. will move from second to center field. The executive said Chisholm, who's never played in the outfield at the major-league level, is intrigued about the switch and that the team has contemplated it for a while. Newcomer Jean Segura is expected to man third base.

Chisholm told Miami's front office that he would "play the position and win a Gold Glove" if they didn't acquire a center fielder.

Arraez was a first-time All-Star last season, slashing .316/.375/.420 with 31 doubles and a 131 wRC+. The 25-year-old contact specialist rarely strikes out, ranking in the 100th percentile in both K% and whiff%, according to Baseball Savant.

The left-handed-hitting infielder, who can man multiple positions, gives the Marlins a legitimate top-of-the-order threat after Miami ranked 27th in batting average and on-base percentage a season ago.

Marlins' projected 2023 lineup

ORDER PLAYER POS
1 Luis Arraez 2B
2 Jean Segura 3B
3 Jazz Chisholm Jr. CF
4 Garrett Cooper 1B
5 Avisail Garcia RF
6 Jorge Soler DH
7 Joey Wendle SS
8 Bryan De La Cruz LF
9 Jacob Stallings C

Arraez also comes with plenty of club control. He isn't eligible for free agency until 2026 and is expected to earn somewhere between $5 million-$6.1 million through arbitration for 2023.

Lopez had a terrific 2022 campaign for the Marlins. The Venezuelan posted a 3.75 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in a career-high 32 starts spanning 180 innings.

"The only way you're talking about trading a player of (Arraez's) caliber is if you're talking about a player of Pablo Lopez's caliber," Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said, according to Dan Hayes of The Athletic.

The 26-year-old Lopez provides another solid arm for a Twins rotation that struggled to stay healthy last season and finished 27th in innings pitched, 18th in FIP, and 20th in ERA.

Twins' projected 2023 rotation

PITCHER THROWS
Sonny Gray Right
Pablo Lopez Right
Joe Ryan Right
Tyler Mahle Right
Kenta Maeda Right

Lopez becomes a free agent in 2025 and is set to earn $5.45 million this year.

Salas is Miami's No. 5-ranked prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. The shortstop spent last season in Single-A, posting a .723 OPS with 41 RBIs and 33 steals in 109 games.

Chourio, who didn't crack the Marlins' top 30 prospects on MLB Pipeline, appeared in 51 games at the Dominican Summer League in 2022. The outfielder hit .344/.429/.410 in 217 plate appearances.

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Twins trade batting champ Arraez to Marlins for Pablo Lopez, prospects
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