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Twins trade batting champ Arraez to Marlins for Pablo López

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MINNEAPOLIS – Luis Arraes On Friday after practice, he took a nap when he got a call saying the Minnesota Twins had traded him to the Miami Marlins.

“I was surprised,” he said, “but this is baseball. This is business. I’m ready to go now. I’m a marlin and I’m very happy to be here.”

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The Twins traded the defending AL batting champion to the Marlins for a three-player package with a starting pitcher. Pablo Lopez.

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Lopez needs to support an already deep Twins rotation, albeit without a true ace. He will be with Sonny Gray, Tyler Male, Kenta Maeda, Joe Ryan and, perhaps Bailey Ober. It’s been an eventful month for the Twins as they re-signed the shortstop. Carlos Correa.

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“I am very happy that I came to this team, they have leaders in the club and players who have to support each other,” Lopez said in a video interview with reporters. “I am also very motivated by this mentality. I ask and expect more from myself when it comes to my work and how I can help the team.”

The 25-year-old Arraes had a breakout season with the Minnesota last year when he made his first All-Star team with a league-leading .316 and retired Aaron Judge triple crown. The Yankees star led the AL in home runs and RBIs and finished five points behind Arraes in batting average.

Arraez is a multi-position player who spent most of his time at Twins first base last year, starting 61 games there, 34 games as a designated hitter and 31 games at second base. He also played extensively on third base and left field.

Marlins general manager Kim Ng said Arraes is expected to play second base for Miami, while Jaz Chisolm Jr., who primarily played second base during his major league career with the Marlins, will move to center field.

The Twins also received two prospects from the Marlins: infielder Jose Salas and outfielder Byron Churio. Salas, 19, who finished last season with Miami’s Class A top club, was selected as the organization’s fifth-best prospect in the latest MLB Pipeline rankings. Churio, 17, also a native of Venezuela, played in the Dominican Summer League last season after signing with the Marlins in June.

Arraes will give the Marlins three years of contract management. This is his first year of salary arbitration eligibility. He was the only Twins player to miss last week’s deadline by asking for $6.1 million in 2023 while the team offered $5 million.

The Venezuelan native has become a fan favorite for his perseverance and patience at a plate as tough as baseball has been in recent years: just 131 strikeouts in 1,569 career games. He has only 14 home runs in four seasons but has a .374 slugging percentage.

Old enough Twins fans may have also flinched when the club traded defending AL champion Rod Carew after the 1978 season, albeit under very different circumstances.

“Every time you have a player who is loved in the environment, who you know will work and do it every day, which we saw with Louis, it makes things harder,” said Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey. “We’d love to have Luis and Pablo on our team, but to get something as impressive as what Pablo brings to our team, you have to give something impressive.”

Lopez, 26, had a 3.75 ERA in 32 starts last season. He threw a career-high 180 innings. Over the past two seasons, he’s had 289 strikeouts in 282 2/3 innings.

“When you’re trading someone, it’s always difficult, especially when you’re talking about someone like Pablo,” Ng said. “Just a first-class guy, an amazing person. He did a lot for the Marlins organization.”

Maeda, Grey, Male and Ryan have also been acquired in recent deals, and whether they’ve played in the minor or major leagues, the Twins have had to part with several high-value players to get them.

“I don’t care where they come from. We need really good starters and we need really good pitchers,” Fulvey said. “The goal here is to keep deepening your starting rotation and supply, however we can do that.”

Falvey listed Auber as the sixth when he mentioned the band in a video interview. He said the Twins had discussed a six-man rotation but were “not ready to approve it yet.” Injuries disrupted the rotation last year, so it’s possible the Twins will need more than six starters throughout 2023.

The deal makes sense for Miami, which has a strong pitching rotation honored by NL Cy Young Award winner. Sandy Alcantaraand newly acquired right-hander Johnny Cueto. However, the Marlins struggled for the plate last season, batting .230 in 2022, and wanted to add another hitter to their roster after signing the former Philadelphia infielder. Jean Segura. Miami also recently traded a shortstop Miguel Rojas to the Dodgers.

“We talked about it quite a lot, wanting to add offense in the offseason,” Ng said. “We are willing to trade part of our offer to do this. What we get in Luis Arraes is a southpaw, a very good striker.”

The Twins traded champion Arraes to the Marlins for Pablo Lopez originally appeared on


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