Twins trade Arraez to Miami for Pablo Lopez, 2 prospects

After last week’s monster free agent signing in bringing back Carlos Correa, the Twins have swung a big trade.

Friday, ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported that the club traded All-Star infielder Luis Arraez to the Miami Marlins for starting pitcher Pablo Lopez and two minor leaguers. KSTP Sports has since confirmed.

Arraez, 25, was a first-time All-Star last season and led the American League in batting average after hitting .316/.375/.420 with a .795 OPS. He also hit a career-high eight home runs last season, although he’s known for his phenomenal contact skills, as he’s posted a .314 batting average over his four years in the big leagues.

However, with Correa back in the fold and several other young infielders ready for opportunities, the Twins suddenly had plenty of options around the infield and opted to use Arraez, a fan favorite, to try to improve the pitching staff via trade. Arraez has three more years under team control before reaching free agency, per Spotrac.

Lopez, 26, went 10-10 last season for Miami — his fifth big league season — with a 3.75 ERA, 174 strikeouts, 53 walks and a 108 ERA+ over 180 innings. He’s under team control for two more seasons before reaching free agency, per Spotrac.

Lopez joins Sonny Gray, Tyler Mahle, Kenta Maeda and Joe Ryan in the Twins rotation. The team also could get Chris Paddack back from Tommy John surgery later this season and has Bailey Ober, Josh Winder, Louie Varland and Simeon Woods Richardson also on the 40-man roster. However, Gray, Mahle and Maeda are all entering the final year of their contracts and Maeda is returning from Tommy John surgery.

One of the minor leaguers is infielder Jose Salas, who is Miami’s No. 5-ranked prospect by The 19-year-old finished last season at High-A Beloit and hit .230/.319/.340 with a .659 OPS in 48 games.

The other prospect is outfielder Byron Chourio, a 17-year-old who hit .344/.429/.410 with an .839 OPS in 51 rookie-level games.

The clubs have since announced the deal.