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Marlins Bring In Luis Arraez in Exchange Deal With Twins

Luis Arraez (Photo: Getty Images)

The Marlins and Twins finalized a long-discussed trade on Friday, with American League batting champion Luis Arraez heading to Miami in exchange for right-hander Pablo Lopez and two promising prospects, the teams announced.

The deal, which had been the subject of speculation for months, addresses a significant need for the Marlins, complementing their offseason acquisition of Jean Segura, who is slated to play third base.

However, the trade came at a cost for Miami. Alongside Lopez, a key starter expected to bolster Minnesota’s rotation, the Marlins will send shortstop Jose Salas and outfielder Byron Chourio—both highly regarded young talents—to the Twins.

“We’ve consistently talked about bolstering our offense this offseason,” stated Marlins general manager Kim Ng. “We were prepared to trade some of our pitching to achieve that goal. Luis Arraez brings us a left-handed hitter with exceptional bat-to-ball skills.”

Arraez, 25, boasts a career .314 batting average and is known for his ability to make consistent contact, a rarity in today’s game.

Last season, he earned his first All-Star nod and finished 13th in AL MVP voting with a .316/.375/.420 slash line, scoring 88 runs while recording more walks (50) than strikeouts (43). He remains under contract until after the 2025 season.

Arraez is the first player since Rod Carew in 1978 to win a batting title and then be traded in the offseason, highlighting the rarity of such moves.

Luis Arraez (Photo: MLB)

“Parting ways with a player like Luis, who is well-regarded and valued in our environment, is always tough,” remarked Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey. “While we would have liked to retain Luis and Pablo, the opportunity to acquire someone of Pablo’s caliber necessitated giving up significant assets.”

Arraez joins a Marlins squad anchored by a formidable rotation led by NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara. However, Miami struggled offensively last season, with injuries sidelining second baseman Jazz Chisholm and underwhelming performances from offseason signings Avisail Garcia and Jorge Soler.

Ng confirmed that Chisholm, who has primarily played middle infield in his MLB career, will transition to center field to accommodate Arraez at second base. Arraez’s versatility also allows him to play first base, where he saw considerable action last season, or in a corner outfield spot.

Arraez shared that he was caught off guard by the trade while taking a post-workout nap but expressed readiness to embrace his new role with the Marlins: “I was surprised, but this is baseball. It’s a business. I’m excited to be here and ready to contribute.”

Meanwhile, Minnesota gains flexibility with young slugger Jose Miranda likely to fill in at first base or third, and Alex Kirilloff possibly moving to first. Lopez joins a pitching rotation that includes Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan, and various other options, potentially including a six-man rotation strategy.

“I’m thrilled to join this team, with its strong clubhouse leadership and supportive players,” Lopez remarked in a video interview. “Their mentality motivates me, and I look forward to pushing myself to perform at my best and help the team.”

Lopez, 26, posted a career-best 3.75 ERA over 180 innings last season across 32 starts, earning recognition from analytical teams like the Twins for his ability to strike out batters (9.2 per nine innings) while minimizing walks (2.6 per nine).

“When you trade someone, especially someone like Pablo, it’s always difficult,” Ng reflected. “He’s not only a top-class athlete but a tremendous individual who has made significant contributions to the Marlins organization.”

Salas, 19, a Venezuelan prospect signed for $2.8 million in 2019, finished last season in High-A and is expected to continue his development there. Chourio, 17, showed promise as a center fielder in the Marlins’ Dominican Summer League, posting a robust .344/.429/.410 batting line.

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