The Miami Marlins and the Minnesota Twins pulled off a blockbuster trade last off-season. The Fish traded starting pitcher Pablo Lopez for second baseman Luis Arraez. Arraez has actually recently been nominated for a prestigious award. The obvious question a year later is to see who won this trade...so far? Who got the better return?
The Miami Marlins and Minnesota Twins pulled off a blockbuster trade last year.
Let's get something out of the way first... it wasn't a one for one swap. The Miami Marlins also sent two Minor Leaguers in the trade, so let's take a look at them first. SS/2B Jose Salas batted .224/.313/.310 in the Arizona Fall League last season, after batting .250/.339/.384 in single A and A+ that season. This was before the trade. This season at the Rookie and A+ levels for Minnesota, he batted .188/.263/.268 as his prospect stock has fallen.
The other prospect in the trade was OF Byron Chourio. Prior to the trade, Chourio batted .344/.429/.410 in the Dominican Summer League. He batted .262/.415/.298 this season in Rookie ball for Minnesota. We'll see how he's going to develop further.
Luis Arraez batted .316/.375/.420 in 144 games and 547 AB for Minnesota in 2022. He was worth 4.3 WAR. He had a career 10.3 WAR and a .314/.374/.410 batting line. Pablo Lopez on the other hand was coming off of a 3.75 ERA/3.71 FIP, worth 2.9 WAR. He had a career 8.5 WAR and a 3.94 ERA/.3.77 FIP.
This season continued in pretty much the same way. Pablo Lopez has a 3.66 ERA/3.33 FIP, with 10.9 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 32 games and 194.0 innings pitched. He was worth 3.3 WAR. Luis Arraez was worth 4.9 WAR and had a .354/.393/.469 in 147 games and 574 AB.
Luis Arraez has clearly been more valuable than Pablo Lopez and the prospects so far. The Miami Marlins have so far won the trade. Pablo had a solid season, but his injury history and track record indicate that he's a mid-rotation starter. Arraez is an MVP contender and the best pure hitter in the game.