Padres Rumors: San Diego fought off up-and-coming AL team for Luis Arráez

That was a close one.
San Diego Padres infielder Luis Arraez
San Diego Padres infielder Luis Arraez / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The San Diego Padres were big winners last weekend after pulling off a blockbuster trade for infielder Luis Arráez. The Miami Marlins, seeing no path forward this season, decided to start selling off their assets early this season.

Rather than waiting until June or July, the Fish swung a deal well before the trade deadline and sent Arráez to San Diego in exchange for a prospect package that included outfielder Jakob Marsee, former first-round pick Dillon Head, Nathan Martorella, and reliever Woo Suk Go.

But according to The Athletic (subscription required), the Friars were not the only club in on Arráez. While the Padres walked away with the prize, it's being reported by MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal that the Kansas City Royals were in the mix to acquire Arráez as well. Thankfully, AJ Preller was able to outbid Royals' GM JJ Picolo for Arráez's services.

Padres Rumors: San Diego fought off KC Royals for Luis Arráez

The Royals made several splashes during free agency and locked up one of the best young players in the game (Bobby Witt Jr.) this past offseason. Former Padres pitchers Seth Lugo and Michael Wacha joined the stable of pitchers in KC, and the Royals have stepped up in big way at the beginning of the 2024 season.

While Minnesota was able to win the American League Central in 2023, the Royals may well be at the top of the class in that division this season. Witt, Lugo, Salvador Perez, and Brady Singer have the Royals off to a hot start, and Kansas City is looking to challenge the Twins and Cleveland Guardians for supremacy in the AL Central.

It's quite likely that the Royals saw an area of need with veteran infielder Adam Frazier currently holding down the keystone in KC. But Kansas City reportedly never got past the preliminary phase of negotiations, which allowed Preller and the Padres to walk away with Arráez.

Now the Padres are looking to turn their acquisition into a catalyst for a postseason run. The Friars are chasing down their NL West rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers. But with the addition of Arráez and former Chicago White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease, Preller has put together a formidable threat for the prohibitive favorite in the the National League.

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