Twins, Marlins Nearing Trade Involving Arraez, Lopez

2:09pm: Outfielder Byron Chourio is the third participant headed to Minnesota, Tweets Mish. Baseball America ranks him twenty ninth in Miami’s system.

1:57pm: Infield prospect Jose Salas can be headed to Minnesota, reviews Craig Mish of SportsGrid and the Miami Herald. He at present ranks fourth amongst Miami prospects at Baseball America and ranked second and fifth, respectively, on final summer season’s rankings from FanGraphs and

1:50pm: The Twins and Marlins are in settlement on a commerce sending an infielder Luis Arraez to Miami and right-hander Pablo Lopez to Minnesota, reviews ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Ken Rosenthal and Dan Hayes of The Athletic, who first stated the deal was progressing, reported that it isn’t a one-for-one swap and can contain extra gamers. Jon Heyman of the New York Post tweets that the Twins will purchase two prospects from Miami along with Lopez.

The core of the commerce, for instant functions, will see the Twins swap out three years of Arraez, the reigning American League batting champion, for 2 seasons of Lopez, who’ll instantly be an improve to their rotation. The 26-year-old Lopez has come into his personal as a high quality large league starter over the previous three seasons, pitching to a 3.52 ERA with a 25% strikeout price, a 7% stroll price and a 47.4% ground-ball price in 340 innings.

Lopez has handled some harm points in his profession, 3 times touchdown on the injured listing attributable to shoulder strains. The most up-to-date of these three accidents got here in the summertime of 2021 and worn out greater than two months of Lopez’s season, however he was injury-free in 2022 when pitching to a career-high 180 innings over the lifetime of 32 begins. Last 12 months’s efficiency netted Lopez a nonetheless eminently reasonably priced $5.45MM wage. He’ll be due yet another elevate in arbitration within the 2023-24 offseason earlier than reaching free company following the 2024 marketing campaign — barring an extension, in fact.

The newly acquired Lopez will step right into a Twins rotation that additionally consists of Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan and Tyler Mahle. Although it was simple to wonder if Lopez may push Kenta Maeda right into a bullpen position after he missed your entire 2022 season on the heels of inside brace surgical procedure on his proper elbow in Sept. 2021, The Athletic’s Dan Hayes tweets that Maeda will stay a starter.

The most probably odd man out of typical five-man rotation is 27-year-old Bailey Ober, however the towering righty has pitched to a pointy 3.82 ERA in 31 begins to start his large league profession — together with a 3.21 mark in 56 innings final season. (Ober missed greater than three months attributable to a extreme groin pressure.) Alternatively, the Twins may look to deploy a six-man rotation that may assist them handle Maeda’s workload and hopefully result in higher well being amongst a beginning employees that was usually hampered by harm all through the 2022 season.

On the opposite aspect of the swap, the Marlins will get a left-handed bat to assist stability out a closely right-handed lineup. Arraez brings to Miami maybe probably the most impeccable bat-to-ball abilities in Major League Baseball, having fanned in simply 8.3% of his plate appearances since debuting as a 22-year-old again in 2019. He does not stroll at an particularly excessive clip, however Arraez’s mark of 8.7% continues to be increased than each his strikeout price and this previous season’s league-average 8.2% stroll price.

Arraez, 26 in April, hit .316/.375/.420 with a career-high eight residence runs in 2022 and is a lifetime .314/.374/.410 hitter within the Major Leagues. His contact abilities are second to none and can possible at all times permit him to hit for a excessive common, however the remainder of his sport is somewhat restricted. Arraez is missing in energy, evidenced by a profession .096 ISO (slugging minus batting common), and his common dash pace is under common, per Statcast.

While he debuted as a second baseman, defensive struggles have left Arraez as one thing of a position-less nomad. He’s bounced between second base, first base, third base and left area, delivering lackluster defensive grades at every of these spots apart from first base. That may nicely be his new place in Miami, given the presence of Jazz Chisholm Jr. at second base and Jean Segura at third base. If that is certainly the case, 2022 All-Star Garrett Cooper would possible slide right into a DH position — if he isn’t traded himself, given his standing as a pending free agent after the season — thus sliding Jorge Soler again into the outfield.

Like Lopez, Arraez has some worrying harm points on his resume. A torn ACL throughout his prospect days torched his 2017 season, and he is been on the injured listing 3 times since Opening Day 2020 attributable to knee issues as nicely. Arraez additionally spent every week on the 7-day concussion IL in 2021 and missed almost three weeks of that season attributable to a shoulder pressure.

Arraez is arbitration-eligible for the second time this offseason and, as a Super Two participant, nonetheless has two years of arbitration remaining past the present marketing campaign. He and the Twins couldn’t come to phrases on an settlement previous to final week’s deadline to change arbitration figures; the Twins filed at a $5MM mark, whereas Arraez’s camp countered with a $6.1MM submission. Now that he is with a brand new staff, it is attainable Arraez may comply with a one-year deal someplace between these factors, or maybe even focus on an extended pact. If not, his subsequent arbitration raises will take his wage north of $10MM by his ultimate 12 months of membership management, in 2025.

The prospects within the deal are each long-term gamers for the Twins, making them considerably curious secondary items for a staff that is clearly bidding for instant competition within the wake of their beautiful deal to re-sign Carlos Correa. That stated, latest trades for Mahle, Gray and others have thinned out the Twins’ system in appreciable style, so backfilling with some youthful expertise helps straddle the road of constructing for each the short- and long-term.

Salas is especially nicely regarded, initially signing for a $2.8MM bonus and at present ranked fourth in Miami’s system at Baseball America. He’s a shortstop in the meanwhile, though BA’s scouting report suggests a transfer to 3rd base is feasible, relying on the extent to which his still-lean body grows. The switch-hitting Salas batted .250/.339/.384 in opposition to vastly older competitors in 2022, splitting the 12 months between Class-A and Class-A Advanced regardless of solely turning 19 this previous April.

Salas linked on 9 homers and swiped 33 bases in 109 video games. Scouting reviews on Salas tout his work ethic, his really feel for contact and the potential for at the least common energy. He’ll instantly turn out to be one of many Twins’ high total prospects, however he will not add any worth to their 2023 membership (except for maybe giving them extra flexibility in the case of negotiating extra trades).

Chourio is even youthful, having simply signed as an newbie out of Venezuela one 12 months and 5 days in the past. Despite enjoying the season at simply 17 years previous, the switch-hitting outfielder took the Dominican Summer League by storm, raking at a .344/.429/.410 clip with a homer, 9 doubles, 19 steals and almost as many walks ( 25) as strikeouts (27) in 217 plate appearances.

Chourio will not even flip 18 till May, so even wildly optimistic projections would have him three years away from being a authentic large league prospect, and it is fairly possible that he is even additional off than that. Still, there’s loads to love about him regardless of the dearth of proximity to the Majors. In addition to his eye-catching professional debut, Baseball America’s Ben Badler touted Chourio’s bodily projection, robust throwing arm, middle area instincts and balanced swing when reviewing the Marlins’ worldwide signing class final 12 months.

More to come back.


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