Luis Arraez is off to a strong start to his Marlins tenure. Acquired from the Twins in the deal that sent Pablo López to the Twin Cities, the lefty-hitting infielder carries an incredible .421/.482/.553 line with nine walks and only four strikeouts over 85 plate appearances. While Arraez surely won’t hit over .400 for an entire season, he looks more than capable of backing up last year’s American League batting title in his new environment.
The Miami front office has to be pleased with the production of their new infielder, though Barry Jackson and Craig Mish of the Miami Herald report the sides haven’t had any discussions about a potential contract extension. That’s hardly surprising for a player who’s so new to a team. However, it is in contrast to López, who inked a $73.5MM deal with Minnesota last week.
López was a year closer to free agency than Arraez is now. Both players entered 2023 in their second seasons of arbitration eligibility but Arraez qualified for early arbitration as a Super Two player. Miami’s second baseman won a hearing in February to secure a $6.1MM salary. He’s in line for two more raises through that process before hitting the open market after the 2025 campaign, when he’ll be headed into his age-29 season.
On the other side of the ball, Jackson and Mish also report that Miami is not interested in free agent starter Madison Bumgarner. The four-time All-Star was officially released by the Diamondbacks this afternoon, the obvious outcome after he was designated for assignment last week. Arizona will remain on the hook for virtually all of the $37MM owed to Bumgarner over the next two seasons. Any club that carries him on its MLB roster would only need to pay him the prorated portion of the $720K league minimum, which would be subtracted from Arizona’s obligations.
The Marlins are currently without Johnny Cueto and Trevor Rogers due to injury, leaving them with an uncertain #5 option behind Sandy Alcantara, Jesús Luzardo, Braxton Garrett and Edward Cabrera. Bumgarner had been tagged for 20 runs with more walks than strikeouts through 16 2/3 innings with the D-Backs before being released, however, so it’s understandable the Miami front office believes they’re better served with their in-house depth options.
Along with the absences of Cueto and Rogers, Miami has been without its presumptive starting shortstop for the bulk of the season. Joey Wendle has been on the injured list since April 4 due to a right intercostal strain. The club could soon welcome him back. Jordan McPherson of the Herald tweets that the veteran infielder will begin a rehab stint with Triple-A Jacksonville tomorrow. Wendle was limited to nine plate appearances before the injury. Jon Berti has picked up the bulk of the shortstop work in his absence and hit .233/.278/.356 across 75 trips to the dish.
Gwynning's Anal Lover
Not interested in MadBum — however, if they wanted to get the old crew back together, I’m sure teams would be interested eating massive dead money in Yelich, Stanton & Ozuna.
Hello Miami, can I interest you in a low IP starter with a fine pedigree and a rich aroma of Veteran Presence? (1) The Twins have Kenta Maeda just sitting there, last year in his deal, and he’d look pretty swank parked next to Johnny Cueto. (2) The man finished second in the AL Cy Young race just a few years ago. (3) Better jump on this one early, as there are no guarantees he’ll be there long! (4)
1. Veteran Presence (TM) smells a lot like Corrinthean Leather.
2. Parked on the IL next to Johnny Cueto.
3. Second in the AL CY in 60 IP in a very short 2020 plague season.
4. “There” being the 25 man roster. Hello 60 day!
“Surely he won’t hit .400 for season”. Why not? Ted Williams did it. Arraez would’ve been one of the biggest stars in the game 100 years ago. Arraez is a total throwback and still doesn’t get his just due.
I wish Seattle would have gotten him instead of Wong. He looks like he’s uninterested in playing baseball. Then they could have had him bat in front of Julio so he could have someone to drive in. Arraez reminds me of Ichiro, the hitting part.
Yeah but a comparable trade at this point would be Castillo and prospects… so Seattle wouldn’t give that up in order to compete. Miami did it for a piece to build on.
Lopez isn’t close to as good as Castillo.
MIN would have wanted one of SEA’s ripe pitchers, and maybe could have parted with any of whom they didn’t want out of Gilbert, Kirby or Hancock. Personally, I would have parted with Hancock — and I should be biased towards him for being a Georgia Bulldog.
Ted Williams didn’t face relievers anywhere near as good as the ones Arraez will face.
I was a big Oscar Gamble fan (great hair!). But comparing so different eras is kind of silly. Ted Williams was one of the best of his era and he faced the best pitchers of his era. And he was usually better. Same as Luis is doing in his era. I don’t understand why you would make such a wrong headed comparison. Let’s just enjoy his hot start and see if it lasts…
Nor did Ted Williams have the advantage of seeing bright, clean baseballs in use every time he came up to bat nor did he get to play his night games in such well lighted stadiums. Different eras, different playing conditions.
@Skeptical: But in the first part of his career, including 1941 when he hit over .400, Williams had the huge advantage of facing pitchers selected from a limited segment of the population – only white people. The quality of pitching rose dramatically with integration, when the pool of available talent was expanded.
It’s not a coincidence that nobody has batted .400 since Jackie Robinson broke the race barrier.
I absolutely agree, Blue Baron. Jackie Robinson and his many Cy Young awards kept hitters off the bases like we’ve never seen.
It was the pitching that came after he broke in, Einstein.
Expansion and watered-down talent on both sides of the ball are probably more of a reason than integration. Consider that the last 3 players to do it all played in the Negro Leagues and only faced one race too.
That’s irrelevant to the point that integration raised the level of talent in MLB with an expanded selection pool.
Brett missed it by 5 hits, Gwynn by three hits.
It’s not likely to happen again but it is not impossible. especially with how unimpressive some of the pitching is.
But it still hasn’t happened since before integration. As unimpressive as pitching is today, the quality is still better than before 1947 simply because pitchers are drawn from a much larger talent pool.
42 had a lifetime 0.00 ERA… sounds pretty good to me!
Actually, he had no ERA because he had zero innings pitched. Zero divided by zero is undefined.
For factual sake, you are correct sir. For tomfoolery sake, I was just having a go at some humor. =)
@Blue Baron now that the Negro Leagues are officially a part of Major League history, Josh Gibson hit .466 in 1943. Two years after Ted Williams while also playing in an ‘exclusive’ game
Thanks for making my point.
He also was facing pitchers selected from a limited segment of the population. The quality of pitching in MLB improved significantly when the size of the pool increased by including talent previously available only to the Negro Leagues.
It increased even more when the pool grew to include players from Asian and Latin American nations.
As I wrote under another Marlins article – Arraez is a generational hitter. This generations Tony Gwynn. Never seen him off-balance swinging on a pitch. Hits to the open area the defense gives him. A real (and smart) hitter – of which MLB has very few.
Unfortunately he’s a poor 2B, and without the shift to lend him a crutch he hurts a team there. Belongs as a part-time 1B and part-time DH. but it’s the Marlins……and they’re just one of maybe 8-12 poorly constructed teams in MLB.
How is Arraez doing so far defensively? That’s been the knock on him and I’m curious if it’s been true so far.
What I wrote…..
He’s playing out of position. he doesn’t have much range, nor a good arm.
(And contrary to people that think a 2B’s job is to just stand on the dirt, field balls hit right to him, and make a short throw to 1B – the fact is that 2B’s have to range to the grass on ground balls, get up and strong arm the ball to 1B. In fact, on double play balls where the ball is hit to the 3B or SS, the 2B, and to run to the 2B bag, pivot, and throw the opposite way of his momentum – and across his body – to 1B. By comparison, a SS taking a DP throw from the 2B has momentum going towards 1B so it’s an easier throw for him.)
It’s not that Arraez is butchering a lot of balls, he’s simply not making plays that a quality ML 2B needs to make. He’s not great at 1B either, but he’s better off playing there when he’s not DH’ing.
I agree that positional metrics are sometimes more about what you get to than what you do with it once you get there. But I was wondering from folks that have been watching him daily think about how he’s been doing. He’s certainly a great batsman, but is he providing league average fielding at the position. That’s what I was curious about.
He has played plus defense at 2B this year. Pretty much everything Samuel said he couldn’t do, he is doing exceptionally well.
@ Samuel, Arraez is an adequate fielding 2B. As far as his arm, it’s largely irrelevant. His arm is more than fine for a 2B. Now if he was playing on left side of IF that would b a different story.
You didn’t read what I wrote…..
An arm is important at 2B. We see more teams talking about “middle infielders” because they now use a player at both positions.
Except MIA is not using him at both, so how he throws from SS a position he does not and will not play is irrelevant. It would b like finding out the weather on Neptune for my tee time tomorrow morning….
His range is slightly above average at 2B. His arm is almost exactly average at 2B.
You know this sounds fishy (pun intended) but I know a guy that does work for MadBum and his wife in Arizona. Said that MadBum told him his arm was shot, that he had nothing left
Did anyone actually think the Marlins would have interest in Bumgarner?
Eric Olson 2
The Twins/Marlins trade of Arraez for Lopez seems to be fair for both teams. Time will tell if it shifts to one side or another. Personally I’d have a hard time trading either of them, they’re both are excellent players.
MadBum to -HOU / PIT / TB for his best shot at fixing whatever’s wrong with him, although I don’t think any of those teams need or want him. Unless he turns crafty lefty, he’s probably done
Dave Ng – related to Kim Ng?
Kim Ng to the rescue.
I’m not sure I’d assume MadBum wants to continue pitching – it sure isn’t obvious when he’s on the field. He just seems angry and disgruntled all the time. I’m guessing his teammates won’t miss that