Just four months ago, Luis Arraez won the American League Batting Title as a Minnesota Twin. On Friday, he switches teams and leagues.
The Miami Marlins acquired Arraez on Friday in a trade with the Twins. The Twins will receive starting pitcher Pablo Lopez and prospects Jose Salas and Bryan Chourio in the deal.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) January 20, 2023
The Marlins’ New Catch
Arraez arrives in South Beach as an infielder who is known for consistently making contact at the plate. Ever since his debut in 2019, he had a batting average of over .300 in three of his four years in the league. He also excels at drawing walks and not striking out. His 8.4% strikeout rate is well below the MLB’s 22.9% average, according to Baseball Reference. In 2022, Arraez drew 50 walks in contrast to 43 strikeouts in 547 plate appearances. He won the AL batting title with a .316 average along with eight home runs and 49 RBIs.
Defensively, Luis Arraez possesses the versatility to play all four infield positions, along with left field. The Marlins have a small excess of middle infielders between Arraez (who has played the most at second base), Jean Segura, Joey Wendle, and Jon Berti. To compensate, the Marlins are moving their star second baseman, Jazz Chisholm Jr., to center field, a position he has never played in the Majors.
Minnesota’s Newest Twins
The centerpiece of the deal for Minnesota is Pablo Lopez, who has been starting for Miami since 2018. Over the last three years, Lopez has maintained an ERA under 4 and an ERA+ over 100. In 2022, Lopez started a career-high 32 games, going 10-10 with a 3.75 ERA while striking out 174 batters and walking 53 of them. Lopez will join Joe Ryan, Tyler Mahle, Sonny Gray, and Bailey Ober among the Twins’ starting options.
Jose Salas was Miami’s fifth-ranked prospect before the trade. The 19-year-old shortstop batted .250 with nine home runs and 41 RBIs with 33 stolen bases combined in Single-A and High-A. Salas has also spent time at second and third base in his short time in the minor leagues.
Bryan Chourio is a 17-year-old outfield prospect who spent the 2022 season in the Dominican Summer League. In 51 games with the DSL Marlins, he hit .344 with one home run and 23 RBIs. He also drew 25 walks to 27 strikeouts, and also stole 19 bases on 26 attempts.