It was already a completely un-kept secret before the Miami Marlins signed starter Johnny Cueto, but once that deal was done, it was a fundamental tenet of the universe: the Marlins would trade a young starting pitcher for a bat. Everyone knew it. Everywhere. Always.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
It wasn’t even hard to speculate which pitcher, as Pablo Lopez had just two years of team control left and was the priciest of the young bunch. And it wasn’t even hard to speculate which bat would be targeted, since the return of Carlos Correa to Minnesota immediately made AL batting champion Luis Arraez disposable. Lots of us speculated about that exact trade.
And it’s happening:
Arraez, 25, isn’t much of a defender, though he can theoretically play first, second, third, and left. He hit .316/.375/.420/131 wRC+ last year, and has otherwise been solidly above-average at the plate in his young career. He’s a high-contact slappy type who’ll be extremely sensitive to swings in his BABIP, but his line drive rate is always above 25% (which is nuts), so he might always hit for a high average. And unlike some other slappy types, he does take his walks.
As for Lopez, he has the upside of a very good mid-rotation starter, and the Twins now look like the clear favorite in the AL Central. I’m sure it stings a bit to part with Arraez, but the extra prospects headed their way might make up the difference.
More coming on this deal, I suspect. Other names, but also perhaps some fallout around the league.
UPDATE: Here’s the full trade. Salas is one of the Marlins’ top young prospects, while Chourio is still at the DSL level (no relation to Jackson that I can find):