MIAMI — The Marlins on Friday acquired reigning American League batting champion and All-Star infielder Luis Arraez from the Twins for right-hander Pablo López and two prospects, infielder Jose Salas (No. 5 on the Marlins’ system) and outfielder Byron Chourio .
Under team control until 2025, the 25-year-old Arraez has a .314 average in 389 career games. Although Arraez is listed as a second baseman, he will likely split most of his playing time between first base and designated hitter for the Marlins. They currently only have one first baseman on the 40-man roster: Garrett Cooper, who is slated to become a post-season 23 free agent.
Arraez is the first player since Rod Carew (1978-79) – who was also traded from the Twins – to be treated after winning an off-season batting title, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
With the addition of Arraez, Miami gains both impressive offensive power and much-needed infield depth. Arraez made 60 starts at first base in 2022 while he made 31 starts at second base and 34 at designated batsman. Given how Cooper struggled with injuries in the second half of last season, it’s likely a big move for Miami that Arraez can take the field pressure off the 32-year-old.
López, who turns 27 in March and is under team control until 2024, has a 3.94 ERA in five seasons (94 starts) with the Marlins. Last year, López combined with ace Sandy Alcantara for a powerful one-two at the top of Miami’s rotation and made a career-high 32 starts in his first fully healthy season.
Also included in the deal is Salas, who is expected to reach the majors by 2024. He boasts increased speed, solid arm strength and hitting 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.