Phillies Close to Acquiring Astros RP Lopez

Posted by Corey Seidman, Wed, November 28, 2012 11:22 AM | Comments: 39
Posts, Rumors

Wilton LopezThe Phillies are in serious talks with the Houston Astros and may be on the verge of trading for 29-year-old righthanded reliever Wilton Lopez, reports Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.

If the Phils pull this off, it would be a great, under-the-radar trade. Many baseball fans haven’t heard of Lopez because he’s been trapped under the weight of the 100-loss Astros, but he’s actually been one of the game’s more reliable late relievers in recent seasons.

Since 2010, Lopez has a 2.64 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. He’s walked just 31 batters in 204.1 innings, and his strikeout rate has increased in each of the last three seasons. He’s in his prime at 29, and would come very cheap. He made just $515,000 last season and figures to make between $1-1.5 million in 2013.

This news comes a day after Ryan Madson agreed to a deal with the Angels and Jonathan Broxton re-upped with the Reds for three years and more than $20 million. For a team so close to the luxury tax, it makes sense for the Phillies to pursue a trade for a reliever than pay $8 million per year for one.

It will be interesting to see what the Phillies give up if they acquire Lopez. Last year at this time, the Astros fleeced the Red Sox by selling high on reliever Mark Melancon to acquire shortstop Jed Lowrie and pitcher Kyle Weiland.

UPDATE: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the deal is agreed upon. But there is no word that Lopez, who is reportedly in Philadelphia, has passed his physical. Stay tuned.

UPDATE (3:30 p.m.): Salisbury reports that the two sides are exchanging physicals and that the Phillies will trade “two players who have played in the upper levels of the minors if the deal is finalized.”

(More coming…)

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About Corey Seidman

Corey Seidman has written 210 articles on Phillies Nation.

Corey is Analysis Editor for Phillies Nation and also writes for CSNPhilly.com.

  • Posts: 0 Dave

    As long as they didn’t trade away anyone crazy, I’d say it’s almost a perfect guy to acquire…young, cheap, and pinpoint control. It’s always important to keep the walks down, but especially in our ballpark.

  • Posts: 0 Pops

    If the reports are true, excellent move by RAJ. Now go out and sign a guy like Jason Grilli or Mike Adams. I don’t think you can ever have too many capable bullpen arms.

  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    We have to see what we gave up in order to really evaluate the deal but I like the idea of acquiring Lopez. Relatively cheap money wise with good numbers. Great move as long as we did not give up too much.

    • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

      “We have to see what we gave up in order to really evaluate the deal but I like the idea of acquiring Lopez”

      Not true. The deal is judged by if a clause is included that allows take overs on more games than I care to remember against Houston over the last few years.

      But at least the acquiring part is good.

  • Posts: 0 Tom Weiss

    if this deal is finalized, don’t expect a Grilli or Adams – that’s the spot this guy is for. $$ will be spent on a OF(s) or not at all

  • Posts: 0 Anthony

    So is he going to be a 7th/8th inning guy while we still have Papelbon?

    • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

      I berlieve you’ll see him get the 8th. Pretty much like Madson was before Lidge. Doubt you’ll see anyone else precede Papelbon save for a very rare matchup choice. Like Bastardo V a lefty.

      Wonder if Jake’s part of this. Really like his potential and I’d be sorry to see him go, but if the potential stays in the dream column for another year, maybe it’s time to move on.

  • Posts: 0 Bob in Bucks

    Nice move. I expect we gave up 2 good prospects.

  • Posts: 0 Psu joe

    Like the pickup. I could see some young BP arms going back in the deal. Phil’s are over loaded with them.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

    We don’t know if it’s a “great” trade until we see the names going to Houston. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the catchers was included.

    • Posts: 0 rc

      wouldn’t trade a valuable catching prospect for a relief pitcher anyway but why would you trade a catcher with chooch suspended because of pos drug tests.

      • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

        Because they have Valle and Joseph in the minors and Houston needs catching. Neither Valle or Joseph will be in the majors in April…the Ruiz suspension is not a factor. Most scouts don’t rate Valle as high as Joseph – hopefully he’s the one to go.

      • Posts: 1 philly224

        Avatar of philly224

        Wouldn’t have a problem with Vallee going, saw him play several times with Clearwater appears to have a short stroke with line drive gap power; I think he projects as a career backup. Joseph is the better prospect and offers better long ball potential. Both Vallee and Joseph would be playing at AAA this year, a situation that doesn’t work. Plus the Phillies have another rising catcher in the system, Cameron Rupp, will probably play at Reading. Of the other names mentioned, I would prefer to see Schwimmer go, he alienated himself to team brass late last season. Prefer not to see Deikman in the trade, lefties who throw 97, even if they can’t get the ball over still have value.

  • Posts: 0 rc

    Better not have traded Valle or Joseph for a reliever.

  • Posts: 276 Jeff of Nova

    Avatar of Jeff of Nova

    Looks like this is a done deal, just waiting to be finalized to which minor leaguers they are sending.

    If so… this would be

    Move #1 Bullpen support! cheap and they will control him till 2015. Great move, he is not a one hit wonder either he has been below 3.00 the last 3 seasons, and has at least 65 innings.

    RAJ definitely is making this work!

    Move #2 Sign a Center Fielder!!! Upton or Hamilton, no Bourn

    Move #3 Sign another outfielder or infielder for support

  • Posts: 0 rc

    I would prefer to keep both and I hope you’re wrong if they think Valle is a major league prospect. If they think he’s a scrub who will never play here than it would be fine. You need them anyway and if both turn out to be major leaguers, they will be even more valuable trade assets anyway.

    Ruiz is obviously a bigger risk and any player that is suspended, you have to be ready to replace at all times but he’s 34 next year and his contract is up so it’s even more imperative.

  • Posts: 0 Jeff T

    Am I wrong to be scared that RAJ massively overpaid for a bullpen piece? Like “Dom and Asche” overpaid

    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      lol, I think that might be a stretch even for Amaro.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    Valle was the first name I read in this trade rumor on twitter…. still haven’t heard any other names mentioned. It will be interesting to see what we gave up

  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    Finally learned the purpose of the Army-Navy game being played in Philly today. Dave Montgomery was a guest speaker, and Chris Branch of the Wilmington News Journal reported that President Monty said the Phils are getting good reports on the off season progress made by both Messers Howard and Utley.

    More than we heard last year. At least about one of them.

    That’s news you can get a little fired up to.

  • Posts: 2068 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    Once again on paper this looks to be a nice transaction but consider these points:
    Wilton does allow a considerable amount of hits per appearance, correct?
    When would Chollie call upon Wilton? He seems to be the type that can pitch perhaps 1 inning at best maybe stretch a time or 2 – but lets just go with he comes into the game in the 8th inning. That would be ideal, starting the 8th inning with nobody on base. Life is anything but ideal. I’d wager more times than not Wilton comes into a game with men on base. He may still be a decent pitcher but, giving up a hit with men on base could put a run on the board which of course is charged to the person he just relieved. Wilton’s nice ERA stays intact but the Phils are now either behind or a run or two further behind. Wilton is not a big strike out guy but he does give up hits, not many walks and thank goodness not too many homers either.

    I’m not saying the Phils should not pick this guy up but, lets not get our hopes up. A big strike out guy or one who gives up less hits might be better suited for the 8th inning appearance.

    • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

      You perceive a different plan for him than I think is gonna happen. In time, the club will comment on his role, but as the 8th inning setup guy, which is what I expect, he’s gonna come in very few times with men on.

    • Posts: 0 psujoe

      Salisbury is saying two high minor leaguers. I guess that would be AAA and AA? Lopez would be a nice addition, but he’s not Mike Adams. He would deinately improve the bull for a low salary. Let’s just hope it’s not two top level prospects.

  • Posts: 423 Ian Riccaboni

    Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

    Braves sign Upton!

    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      I’m okay with this.

      My prioritized CF Targets:
      1. Pagan
      2. Victorino
      3. Hamilton

    • Posts: 0 psujoe

      5 year deal, no salary yet. The stove is heating up!

      • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

        But there’s a story behind the 5 years. It’s reported that the Upton camp wanted 6 years, but the Braves stayed at 5, although an option may be part of it. From that, I take that the Phils participated in the bidding, but with limitations. I believe that was a good approach. Nice player if you can get him, but respect your ceiling based on the net of his abilities.

        Uggla and BJ = K power. But he’ll be a plus.

  • Posts: 423 Ian Riccaboni

    Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

    Keep this in mind with whomever Houston gets: they have a pretty full 40-man roster, so full that they had to let Mickey Storey, a fairly good middle reliever walk for nothing and the Yankees plucked him.

    What would this mean for the Phillies trade? It means they either have to trade someone who is likely not Rule 5 eligible or someone who is so much better than someone have, they’re willing to put someone else through waivers.

    Waiting for this to play out but unless it’s Valle, I think this could be a win for the Phils.

    • Posts: 0 rc

      Yeah you put Valle in it, you need to get more back.

  • Posts: 513 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    Why give up “upper level” prospects for Lopez when Chad Durbin is available as free agent. With Atlanta Braves last season, he was a reliable RH reliever appearing in 76 games (10th most in the league) and compiling a 3.10 ERA His contract last year was for $900,000. Amaro could offer him less than what he was paid for with the Phillies in 2010..and not have to give up any prospects from the Philklies’ farm.

    • Posts: 804 schmenkman

      Avatar of schmenkman

      Bruce, Durbin had a 3.10 ERA this year, but it was 5.53 last year, and 4.95 for his career, and he turns 35 on Monday. You can look deeper at his stats and see red flags behind the 3.10, but that’s not necessary in this case.

  • Posts: 0 LaPhil

    My Guess: Valle and Cloyd (possibly Schwimmer or Friend instead)

    • Posts: 0 Don M

      My first thought was Schwimmer – who has nothing left to prove in the minors, but doesn’t seem to be a fit here in Philadelphia

      and again, I heard Valle yesterday… for 3 years of a top setup man, seems like a fair deal.

      I’d like to keep Cloyd, because I feel like Starting Pitching can bring back more in a trade (if the focus turns to Fowler or Span).

  • Posts: 0 phil

    Because Chad Durbin isn’t that good.

  • Posts: 0 Psu joe

    Is this deal falling apart? Cloyd and Valle would be a little high, no?

    • Posts: 0 Don M

      How many games did the Phillies lose the lead in the 8th inning… something like 10 times.. add those to the 81 wins, and you’re a playoff team ahead of St. Louis …

      I think if you can get a huge piece, like a legit 8th inning setup man, at no cost to your current MLB roster – it’s a move worth making (remember this all-important “window” is still open with Utley and Halladay here this season)

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    from MLBTR:

    “THURSDAY: The status of the trade remains unclear, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). One of Rosenthal’s sources says the deal isn’t done and multiple teams are in the mix for Lopez. Another person said it would be a two for one trade, potentially with right-hander Tyler Cloyd going to Houston. The clubs have discussed the Phillies’ young catchers, according to Rosenthal.”

  • Posts: 0 Escovedo

    This is precisely what I had been looking for, many thanks Escovedo http://caloriesandweightloss.kll0909.com/count-on-weight-loss-calorie-counter-success/

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