Batting champ Arraez traded to Marlins for López, more

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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 in the Marlins’ system) and outfielder Byron Chourio.

The 25-year-old Arraez, who is under team control through 2025, has a .314 average through 389 career games. Though listed as a second baseman, Arraez is likely to see most of his playing time split between first base and designated hitter for the Marlins. They currently have just one first baseman on the 40-man roster: Garrett Cooper, who is set to become a free agent after the ‘23 season.

Arraez becomes the first player since Rod Carew (1978-79) — also traded from the Twins — to be dealt the offseason after winning a batting title, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

By adding Arraez, Miami gains both impressive offensive strength and much-needed infield depth. Arraez made 60 starts at first base in 2022, while making 31 starts at second base and 34 at designated hitter. Given how Cooper struggled with injuries in the second half of last season, having Arraez able to take the fielding pressure off the 32-year-old is likely a major draw for Miami.

López, who will turn 27 in March and is under team control through 2024, has a 3.94 ERA across five seasons (94 starts) with the Marlins. Last year, López combined with ace Sandy Alcantara to provide a strong one-two punch atop Miami’s rotation, making a career-high 32 starts in his first fully healthy season.

Also included in the deal is Salas, who is projected to reach the Majors by 2024. He boasts plus speed, solid arm strength and hits well from both sides of the plate. The 17-year-old Chourio, one of the Marlins’ international prospects, was signed in January 2022 and played in the Dominican Summer League last season.

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