Ted Schwerzler Twins Daily Contributor Posted January 20 Share Posted January 20 The Minnesota Twins have been engaged in discussions for Miami Marlins starting pitcher Pablo López since at least December. Today that became a reality when they flipped 2022 American League batting champion Luis Arraez to South Beach, per Jeff Passan. In addition, the Twins also received two Marlins prospects in the deal, including one in their top five. Image courtesy of © David Banks-USA TODAY Sports Last season for the Marlins, Pablo López posted a 3.75 ERA along with a 3.71 FIP. He’s jumped his strikeouts over one per inning in the past three seasons and continues to develop as a pitcher. His changeup is noteworthy, and his velocity sits in the mid-90s. Having debuted as a 22-year-old in 2018, he’s just entering his age-27 season. Minnesota has seemingly been in a never-ending quest for quality starting pitching. After acquiring Cincinnati Reds starters Sonny Gray and Tyler Mahle last year, the rotation as a whole grew stronger at the top. While Joe Ryan did start on Opening Day, he projects to slot in as a more middle-to-back-end type of arm. The Twins also will return veteran Kenta Maeda this season, and they have depth in the form of Bailey Ober, Josh Winder, and Simeon Woods Richardson. The goal for Derek Falvey this offseason was to acquire a talent that met the Gray-threshold. Ideally, Rocco Baldelli needs another arm that can pitch in a short playoff series and be trusted to get the job done. While it may be debatable how close they truly are, López can certainly be that guy. Like the Twins did at the deadline, their goal in acquiring arms has been to avoid rentals. They would like to have time to work with pitchers and unlock whatever ceiling is seen for each individual. López is under two more years of team control via arbitration and is projected to make just over $5 million this year per MLB Trade Rumors. A pitcher at that level, and with that amount of team control, isn’t going to come without a significant cost. That’s where 2022 American League Batting champion Luis Arraez enters the picture. He is a talented player that is truly beloved in the clubhouse and the fanbase. When unveiling their new uniforms back in November, Minnesota opted to have him on stage, and his smile was beaming. Arraez has only known the Twins organization throughout his professional career. Minnesota fans know they are giving up a guy that doesn’t strike out, gets on base, and consistently hits for a high average. However, Derek Falvey is also likely conscious of Arraez’s deficiencies. Arraez has balky knees that have kept him from finishing seasons in recent years and is limited defensively, starting 94 games at first base and designated hitter last year. He has definitely done an admirable job shoring up first base when Baldelli needed him this year, but that position could be ticketed for Alex Kirilloff , among others, in 2023. In the deal, Minnesota also gets Jose Salas from Miami, per Craig Mish. An infield prospect currently ranked 5th in the Marlins pipeline, he is a 19-year-old that spent 2022 playing at Single-A. With a .722 OPS across 109 games, Salas flashed some power blasting nine home runs. Baseball America’s profile of him this year concluded that “No matter where he winds up on the diamond, his offensive skills will make him a valuable player.” So the Twins add more young talent to their up-the-middle prospects on the farm. The final piece of the deal going to Minnesota is 17-year-old outfield prospect Byron Chourio , per Mark Feinsand. He made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League last season playing 51 games. The .838 OPS was impressive, and largely backed by his nine doubles. There is some speed there as well considering he swiped 19 bases. There’s no denying that Minnesota is getting a very good arm back in this deal, but López will have the weight of the world on his shoulders each time he goes out, knowing a fan favorite and clubhouse good guy was his price. View full article glunn and Squirrel 1 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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