2:09pm: Outfielder Byron Chourio is the third player headed to Minnesota, tweets Mish.
1:57pm: Infield prospect José Salas is also headed to Minnesota, reports Craig Mish of SportsGrid and the Miami Herald. He currently ranks fourth among Miami prospects at Baseball America and fifth over at MLB.com.
1:50pm: The Twins and Marlins are in agreement on a trade sending infielder Luis Arraez to Miami and right-hander Pablo Lopez to Minnesota, reports ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Ken Rosenthal and Dan Hayes of The Athletic, who first said the deal was progressing, report that it is not a one-for-one swap and will involve additional players. Jon Heyman of the New York Post tweet that the Twins will acquire two prospects from Miami in addition to Lopez.
The core of the trade, for immediate purposes, will see the Twins swap out three years of Arraez, the reigning American League batting champion, for two seasons of Lopez, who’ll immediately be an upgrade to their rotation. The 26-year-old Lopez has come into his own as a quality big league starter over the past three seasons, pitching to a 3.52 ERA with a 25% strikeout rate, a 7% walk rate and a 47.4% ground-ball rate in 340 innings.
Lopez has dealt with some injury issues in his career, thrice landing on the injured list due to shoulder strains. The most recent of those three injuries came in the summer of 2021 and wiped out more than two months of Lopez’s season, but he was injury-free in 2022 when pitching to a career-high 180 innings over the life of 32 starts. Last year’s performance netted Lopez a still eminently affordable $5.45MM salary. He’ll be due one more raise in arbitration in the 2023-24 offseason before reaching free agency following the 2024 campaign — barring an extension, of course.
The newly acquired Lopez will step into a Twins rotation that also includes Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan and Tyler Mahle. It’s possible Lopez’s acquisition could push Kenta Maeda into a bullpen role after he missed the entire 2022 season on the heels of internal brace surgery on his right elbow in Sept. 2021. If the team wishes to return Maeda to the starting role in which he thrived for them in 2020, when he was the runner-up in American League Cy Young voting, then it’ll likely be 27-year-old Bailey Ober being pushed out of the starting five for the time being.
More to come.