MLB Insider: Breaking down the Twins-Marlins blockbuster trade

Breaking down the Twins and Marlins blockbuster trade that sent Luis Arraez to Miami and Pablo Lopez to Minnesota.

Throughout the offseason, the Twins engaged in conversations with the Miami Marlins on a trade that would send right-hander Pablo Lopez to Minnesota. The asking price was steep, but with the Twins listening to inquires on star infielder Luis Arraez, there was potential framework for a deal to be made.

On Friday afternoon, the Twins agreed to acquire Lopez, top shortstop prospect Jose Salas and outfielder Byron Chourio from the Marlins for Arraez.

Let’s break down the trade.

Minnesota Twins

Parting with Arraez would always be difficult and why many throughout baseball were skeptical that the Twins would ultimately trade him.

Since he debuted in May 2019, Arrived has slashed .314/.374/.410. He averaged .316 this season, slightly edging out Aaron Judge and preventing the superstar outfielder from winning the Triple Crown. He was the American League batting champion and one of baseball’s best pure hitters. But there have always been concerns about Arraez defensively — he doesn’t have one true position — and as Dan Hayes of The Athletic wrote, worries about his long-term health, specifically his legs.

In Lopez, the Twins acquire a player that they have coveted for years. He has frontline rotation type potential and since Lopez is only 26, is a player that the organization can build around for years. Lopez’s addition also means that the Twins could get creative with their rotation, perhaps listening to trade inquiries on free agents-to-be Sonny Gray and Tyler Mahle.

Scouts believe that Salas, the young infielder, has star potential. He was ranked as the No. 5 prospect in the Marlins’ organization and his inclusion in the deal “stunned” one scout.

Grade: B+

Miami Marlins

The primary question following the trade was what the Marlins were going to do with their infield surplus, a group that includes: Arraez, Jean Segura, Jazz Chisolm, top prospect Jordan Groshans, Jon Berti and Joey Wendle.

Marlins general manager Kim Ng provided some clarity, saying that Arraez would play second base and Chisolm would move to the outfield. Perhaps the Marlins make another trade to clear infield depth — both Berti and Wendle have drawn trade interest, sources say — but their priority was to trade from their starting pitching surplus to upgrade their offense.

After the Marlins signed Johnny Cueto, they were in position to do that. And in acquiring Arraez, they landed perhaps the biggest fish not named Bryan Reynolds on the trade market. It remains to be seen if the Twins’ concerns with Arraez eventually reveal themselves, but Arraez’s impact on the Marlins’ offense shouldn’t be understated. He’s a legit superstar and that’s precisely what the Marlins needed.

Grade: B-