Twins’ Trade Haul for Luis Arraez Looks Even Better After Marlins Gave Him Away to Padres

Minnesota Twins, Luis Arraez, Pablo Lopez
Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Twins fans were upset before last season even started following the trade of Luis Arraez. Sure the Twins finally found a staff ace in Pablo Lopez, but we didn’t know that at the time of the trade.

What Twins fans saw was a fan-favorite batting champion with one of the best eyes in baseball departing the team. Arraez felt like a necessity for a power-hitting squad that felt like it was headed toward a three-true-outcome approach, whether it be a home run, walk, or strikeout.

Arraez was the opposite, a player who constantly wore down the opposing pitching staff by working the pitch count to his favor before finding a ball he could spray to any part of the baseball diamond.

But what fans didn’t know at the time was just how good Pablo Lopez would become, helping locals quickly forget about the sweet-hitting unconventional ways of Arraez.

Confirmed: Minnesota Twins won the Luis Arraez trade

Then on Friday night news broke that the Luis Arraez had been traded again, this time going across the country, from Miami to the trade-happy San Diego Padres, this time for a prospect ‘haul’, if that’s what you want to call it. Let’s just say the Marlins’ trade return pales in comparison to what the Twins got for the former batting champion in January of 2023, when they traded him to Miami for their now ace pitcher, Pablo Lopez.

In 2023, the Minnesota Twins made the playoffs, and so did the Miami Marlins. This shouldn’t be the baseline for evaluating the original Luis Arraez-Pablo Lopez trade, but it shows that top decision-makers Derek Falvey and Thad Levine were able to build a playoff roster even after trading their young All-Star. The same goes for the Marlins.

Yet, just one year later, the Marlins are already essentially hitting the reset button and are admitting that Arraez is nowhere near the solution to fixing their perpetual failure to thrive. While he’s one of the best hitters in baseball, Arraez doesn’t bring power to the plate, and his defense leaves a lot to be desired since he has no true position he thrives at.

Bouncing between second and first base, Arraez is a defensive liability wherever you play him, and he doesn’t exactly have the power to be a mainstay at DH. This was part of the problem in Minnesota, too, so the Twins felt comfortable moving on and rolling with Edouard Julien, who’s since become arguably the best hitter not named Royce Lewis on the team.

While the Twins have seamlessly found a way to replace Arraez in the batting order and in the field, let’s take another look at the original trade and compare it to what the Marlins just got for the 27-year-old hitter who won’t even become a free agent until after the 2026 season.

  • Minnesota Twins traded: Luis Arraez
  • Miami Marlins traded: Pablo Lopez, Jose Salas, Byron Chourio
  • Miami Marlins traded: Luis Arraez
  • San Diego Padres traded: Dillon Head, Jakob Marsee, Nathan Martorella, Woo Suk-go

Amazingly, the Marlins didn’t receive a single top-100 prospect, according to The top prize headed back to Miami in this trade is 19-year-old outfielder Dillon Head, San Diego’s first-round pick in 2023. But he’s still down in Single-A, meaning he won’t help Miami for several seasons, and he still ranks as the team’s sixth-best prospect.

What did Marlins all get from Padres for Luis Arraez?

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox
Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The other two prospects, Marsee and Martorella, land at ninth and 13th on the Padres’ top 30 prospects list, but both are expected to make their debuts in Miami at some point this season.

The final part of the trade package is reliever Woo-suk Go, who’s already 25 but isn’t in the major leagues after signing a two-year, $4.5 million contract as a free agent in January. Go arrived in MLB via the posting system from South Korea this past offseason, but he wasn’t able to crack the roster and is currently in Double-A.

Ultimately, it looks like the Marlins didn’t get incredible value for one of their best players. While there have been long-term durability concerns relating to Arraez’s knees in the past, it’s crazy to see the stark contrast in trade hauls between the Marlins and Twins just one year apart. But you won’t find the Twins complaining.

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Lopez has developed into a bonafide staff ace. Jose Salas has fallen off the radar a bit after ranking as the Twins’ 9th-best prospect a year ago due to finishing 2023 with an OPS of .531. But the 21-year-old is bouncing back in High-A ball this year, with an OPS of .602.

Byron Chourio, who actually is not related to baseball super-prospect Jackson Chourio, is still just 19, but he’s already circulating basepaths in Fort Myers and is up to an OPS of .749 this season.

Both Salas and Chourio may be scratch-off tickets that could turn into big winners or complete duds. But to think that the Twins still have a couple prospects who could make the Arraez trade even more lopsided than it already is feels like robbery. Yet, the Twins are getting away with it, scot-free.

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