SF Giants division rivals acquire two-time batting champ in trade with Marlins

Miami Marlins v Oakland Athletics
Miami Marlins v Oakland Athletics / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The NL West is not getting any easier for the SF Giants. On Friday, the San Diego Padres acquired two-time batting champion Luis Arráez in a five-player trade with the Miami Marlins.

SF Giants division rivals acquire two-time batting champ in trade with Marlins

The Marlins acquired a trio of prospects in Nathan Martorella, Dillon Head and Jakob Marsee as well as reliever Woo-Suk Go. Interestingly, Go signed a two-year deal with the Padres in the offseason and he has already been shipped away. Of course, another interesting tidbit is that he is Jung Hoo Lee's brother-in-law.

Both Head and Marsee were considered some of the Padres' better prospects, both typically appearing in the top 10 of the team's rankings. This is the second big move by the club in the past six weeks. The first was acquiring Dylan Cease in a blockbuster trade with the Chicago White Sox.

You have to give Padres president of baseball operations A.J. Preller credit here, he is bold. His overall record will not show it as the team has slumped for much of his tenure, but he is not afraid of making the big moves when needed. In addition to this, he seemingly has continued finding ways to add attractive prospect talent through the draft and on the international market.

Arráez is coming off of two-straight seasons in which he won the batting title. In 2022, he won it in the AL by posting a .316 batting average with the Minnesota Twins. He was shipped to the Marlins in an offseason trade and tallied an outstanding .354 batting average last season.

In 2024, he is off to a quality start, slashing .299/.347/.372 (105 OPS+) with no home runs, five RBI, and 22 runs in 148 plate appearances. The lefty bat is a grinder and tough to strikeout as he has registered a 7.5 percent strikeout rate in his six-year career. With teams tolerating higher strikeout totals these days, he goes against the grain in that regard.

The question might be where he plays in the field. San Diego is already loaded with middle infielders. Ha-Seong Kim and Xander Bogaerts handle shortstop and second base, respectively. However, they have several other plays with experience up the middle including Manny Machado, Jake Cronenworth, and Fernando Tatis Jr.

Tatis Jr. has transitioned to the outfield in recent seasons, but the move could push an established veteran in Bogaerts to the DH role. The Padres have a 17-18 record on the year and are looking to position themselves in the playoff race (too soon?) with their latest addition.