Newly acquired infielder Luis Arraez has won an arbitration hearing against the Marlins, reports Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. The MVP Sports Group client will be paid $6.1MM rather than the $5MM figure originally submitted by his now-former team, the Twins.
Miami acquired Arraez, 25, in the trade that sent right-hander Pablo Lopez, top prospect Jose Salas and minor league outfielder Byron Chourio to Minnesota last month. His win in arb hearing comes on the heels of a .316/.375/.420 batting line that netted him an American League batting title in 2022. Arraez notched career-highs in games played (144), plate appearances (603), doubles (31) and homers (8) this past season.
All of that surely factored into his win over his new team, and he’ll now receive a 187% raise over last year’s $2.125MM salary. This was the infielder’s second trip through arbitration as a Super Two player, and he’ll be arbitration-eligible two more times before reaching free agency after the 2025 season.
The Marlins acquired Arraez in something of a high-risk gambit, hoping that his improved offense will offset the inherent defensive downgrade of swapping him in at second base and moving Jazz Chisholm Jr. to center field. That’s not to suggest Chisholm can’t be a solid center field — he certainly has the tools and athleticism to handle the position — but he’s been a plus defender at second base in his career while Arraez has been below-average. And, Chisholm will now have to learn a new position on the fly. It’s a move that carries risk, but there’s no denying that Miami’s lineup looks deeper with Arraez hitting at or near the top than it did previously.
With Arraez’s salary now set, the Marlins project for a payroll in the roughly $103MM range, per Roster Resource. That still has a bit of room to change even without further additions, as the Fish still have two pending arbitration cases. Utilityman Jon Berti and left-hander Jesus Luzardo both exchanged figures with the club. Berti filed a $2.3MM figure to the team’s $1.9MM submission, while Luzardo came in at $2.45MM to the Marlins’ $2.1MM. Those are trivial sums to any team in the grand scheme of things, but as we’ve explored at MLBTR in the past, the battle over those sums is more about managing salaries years down the road — even for future classes of players, as arbitration is a precedent-based system — rather than present-day savings.