May 25, 2024

Padres to receive almost $8 million from Marlins in Luis Arraez trade

PHOENIX — The Padres will receive close to $8 million as part of Saturday’s trade that shipped two-time batting champion Luis Arraez out of Miami, leaving San Diego responsible for only the major-league minimum salary, a team official confirmed.

Reliever Woo-Suk Go, who is in the first year of a two-year, $4.5 million contract, and prospects Dillon Head, Jakob Marsee and Nathan Martorella were dealt to the Marlins in exchange for Arraez, who is owed $8,491,398 for the remaining 149 days of his $10.6 million contract this season. The Marlins also are sending $7,898,602 to the Padres in the swap; San Diego thus will cover $592,796 of Arraez’s salary or the prorated share of the $740,000 minimum salary.

The Associated Press first reported the details of the trade’s cash considerations, which could provide the Padres with a notable amount of financial flexibility. FanGraphs projects San Diego’s luxury-tax payroll, after Saturday’s trade, at roughly $12 million below the league’s $237 million tax threshold. After incurring escalating penalties over the past three seasons, the Padres would prefer to avoid exceeding the threshold this year.

Arraez, 27, is eligible for free agency after the 2025 season. He lost to the Marlins in salary arbitration in February and was awarded his $10.6 million salary instead of his $12 million request.



MLB trade grades: Taking stock of the Padres-Marlins Luis Arraez deal

The Padres have not taken a player to a salary arbitration hearing since hiring A.J. Preller as general manager in 2014. Arraez won the 2022 American League batting title with the Minnesota Twins, captured the 2023 National League crown with the Marlins and is hitting .299 after a slow start to this season. He likely will be due a substantial raise this winter. With only nine players under contract next year, the Padres are projected to have a $186 million luxury-tax payroll in 2025, when the tax threshold will increase to $241 million.

Regardless of how the rest of 2024 unfolds, the Padres could avoid paying Arraez a significant sum in 2025 by trading him to another team in the offseason. They also could be motivated to keep him as part of an infield that might lose a key member later this year. Shortstop Ha-Seong Kim can become a free agent after the upcoming World Series.

In the meantime, San Diego appears to have maintained a useful measure of financial flexibility with the help of the Marlins. The Padres perhaps could apply their remaining resources toward pitching reinforcements ahead of the July trade deadline. The team entered Saturday with a 4.19 ERA, and the rotation features multiple question marks outside of No. 1 starter Dylan Cease.

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(Photo: Sam Navarro / USA Today)