Twins Acquire Pitching Help, Trade Luis Arraez to Marlins For Pablo Lopez And Prospects
Looking to solidify their rotation for the 2023 season, the Twins dealt off their big league roster by shipping Luis Arraez to the Marlins for a package of three players: righthander Pablo Lopez and prospects Jose Salas and Byron Chourio.
Lopez fills out Minnesota’s rotation, while Salas and Chourio add two long-term pieces to its farm system. Salas is an interesting infield prospect with a well-rounded game, while Chourio is a lottery ticket who performed well in the Dominican Summer League in 2022.
In Arraez, the Marlins get another player who fits their recent contact-heavy profile. His .316 average placed him fourth in the majors last season and was good for the American League batting crown.
Luis Arraez, 1B
The Marlins are well-stocked with pitching—although only Sandy Alcantara can be considered truly a sure thing at this point—but are positively bereft of offense. To that end, they reached into their big league rotation and used Pablo Lopez to add a bit more juice to their starting nine. In Arraez, they added a player who fits their recent profile of high contact at the expense of big-time power. That profile also fits a trio of other recent trade acquisitions: Xavier Edwards from the Rays, Jordan Groshans from the Blue Jays and Jacob Amaya from the Dodgers. The other three players have defensive value, but Arraez’s best position at this point is in the batter’s box. Even so, he’ll instantly become one of the Marlins’ best offensive players as the team attempts to overhaul its lineup.
2023 Miami Marlins Top MLB Prospects
Ranking the best prospects in the Miami Marlins farm system, projecting their 2026 lineup, rotation and more.
Pablo Lopez, RHP
Lopez was signed out of Venezuela by the Mariners, then dealt in 2017 to Miami as part of the four-prospect package that brought David Phelps to Seattle. He’s spent the last five seasons as one of the more reliable starters in the sport and has done an excellent job both finding the strike zone (just 2.5 walks per nine innings) and keeping the ball in the park (just 1.0 home runs per nine innings) over the course of his career. He had a stark home-road split in 2022, when his ERA at Marlins Park was more than a run and a half higher than his figure at all other stadiums. He’ll round out a Twins rotation that includes Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan, Tyler Mahle and Chris Paddack.
Jose Salas, SS
The Marlins have a large group of talented middle infield prospects in the low minors, and the 19-year-old rose to the top of that group in 2022 thanks to a strong early performance at Low-A that led the Marlins to bump him to High-A Beloit. There are questions about his long-term defensive home: Some scouts believe third base would fit because of his above-average arm strength. Others believe second base is a better fit because his power potential is only average. A great deal of his long-term future depends on his physical development. He worked throughout the 2022 season to take some of the moving parts off his swing, leaving him with a cleaner stroke that should allow him to hit for a decent average. Salas has no standout tool, but he doesn’t have a glaring weakness, either.
Byron Chourio, OF
Chourio signed out of Venezuela in 2022 and was coveted by the Marlins for his remaining projection and pretty swings from both sides of the plate. He was excellent in his pro debut, hitting .344 with nearly as many walks (25) as strikeouts (27) in the Dominican Summer League. He also did an excellent job putting the bat on the ball, as shown by his in-zone miss rate of just 12% over the course of the summer. He needs to get stronger, but his 6-foot-2 frame is big enough to take plenty of additional good weight. He’s got an above-average arm that could help him fit in a corner if he gets too big, but he’s an above-average runner as well and should continue his development in center field.