The Miami Marlins are looking to trade one of four starting pitchers for hitting. The Fish already prepared for it by signing a starting pitcher as a replacement for whoever is traded. It appears that The Fish are discussing a trade with the Minnesota Twins. The trade would be Pablo Lopez for Max Kepler and Luis Arraez or at least those are the players being discussed. Would that be a good trade for either side? Who would win? Should the Miami Marlins consider this?
The Miami Marlins and Minnesota Twins are discussing a big trade.
Trading Pablo Lopez is a no-brainer for the Miami Marlins. A free agent in 2 years, he's been too injury-prone to pitch more than 111.1 innings in a season until 2022. He has a career 3.94 ERA and had a 3.75 ERA/3.71 FIP in 2022. He's not an ace and though he's shown flashes of having ace stuff in the past, his 93.5 mph fastball velocity from 2022 is nothing special. Pablo is a mid-rotation starting pitcher with questionable health and limited team control, it's not a problem to trade im for much more needed hitting help.
Minnesota isn't that interested in trading Luis Arraez, who batted .316/.375/.420 in 144 games and 547 AB in 2022. He's a career .314/.374/.410 hitter who isn't much of a power hitter (8 home runs in 2022 was his career high). Arraez's contact is clearly elite and that is a big reason why The Fish want him, but it doesn't look likely that he will be acquired.
RF Max Kepler is coming off a .227/.318/.348 season in 115 games and 388 AB in 2022. It was pretty disappointing, but there's been a lot of talk that changes to shifts for the defense will allow him to hit better. He's certainly capable of elite power, as shown by his 36 home run 2019 season. Will he be able to do that again or come close? I don't know. I do worry if he'll be productive even with the shifts, as he has never hit good for average and has a career .232/.317/.427 batting line.
If Luis Arraez isn't available and this trade takes place, then Max Kepler has to bounce back and be productive. I think that the Miami Marlins should be able to do better, but it might be good enough too. We'll see what happens.