Padres thrilled by trade for 'baller' Luis Arráez, solidifying San Diego as NL contender

Phoenix — The San Diego Padres cut their payroll by $80 million, lost their Cy Young winner, All-Star closer, three other starters, and dealt away one of the game's top hitters.  

However, on Friday night, they demonstrated why they believe they will be playing in October.  

The Padres acquired two-time hitting champion Luis Arráez from the Miami Marlins for three prospects and one reliever, the teams announced Saturday morning.  

While Padres GM A.J. Preller and manager Mike Shildt remained silent until the deal was finalised, the Padres players were pleased, believing that Arráez would have an immediate influence on their 17-18 club.  

"It's really amazing," Padres right fielder Fernando Tatis Jr. said following their 7-1 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks. "That guy is a baller."  

Gwynn, the late Hall of Famer, earned eight hitting crowns with the Padres. The Padres have not had a player hit.300 players have played at least 500 games for the squad since Gwynn in 2001.

Arráez has a.324 career batting average and won the 2023 batting title (.354 final season for the Marlins) and the 2022 batting title (.316) with the Minnesota Twins.  

"We got one of the best hitters in the game, so it'll be good for our team," Padres All-Star third baseman Manny Machado said. "We are thrilled to have him. We are adding a good bit. This will significantly expand our lineup. 

"And just a good guy. He's wonderful. He works his ass off. He'll fit in nicely in this clubhouse." "You're always looking for more offence," he said, "and a left-handed bat to balance the lineup."  

"He's the best contact hitter in baseball, I would think," he remarked. "He consistently has strong at-bats. He's constantly getting on base.   

"It's a great addition to the lineup," Padres first baseman Jake Cronenworth said. "Adding a guy like that to the lineup, and giving us production wherever he hits, is significant for us.  

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