Cardinals Sign Felipe Lopez

The Cardinals officially signed free agent infielder Felipe Lopez to a one-year contract today. The deal is worth $1MM in base salary, plus easily attainable performance bonuses that could be worth up to $1.2MM. Lopez fired Scott Boras recently, and is now represented by the Beverly Hills Sports Council.

The Cardinals have been linked to Lopez for much of the offseason, despite recent reports that the team was unlikely to add a free agent infielder. Talks between the Cardinals and the utility infielder had intensified over the last couple days.

One likely factor contributing to St. Louis’ increased interest in Lopez is shortstop Brendan Ryan‘s recovery from right wrist surgery. Ryan is attempting to work his way back to full health by Opening Day, but still can’t throw a ball properly or swing a bat with both hands, writes MLB.com’s Matthew Leach. Lopez would also provide insurance in case rookie third baseman David Freese struggles in his first full-time starting role.

The 29-year-old Lopez is coming off a season in which he hit .310/.383/.427 in 680 plate appearances for the Brewers and Diamondbacks. He also enjoyed one of the finest stints of his career in St. Louis in 2008, when he posted a .385/.426/.538 line in 169 plate appearances for the Cardinals. Since being released by the Nationals in early August of 2008, Lopez has been a .325/.392/.450 hitter in 849 plate appearances. UZR rates his defense as above average at second and third, but below average at short.

Joe Strauss of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch first reported that the two sides were close to an agreement, while ESPN’s Buster Olney confirmed the deal. SI.com’s Jon Heyman and Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com tweeted the contract details. 

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.


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98 Comments on "Cardinals Sign Felipe Lopez"


Guest
5 years 6 months ago

At Last!!!!!

tylersmith513
5 years 6 months ago

go reds!!!!!!!!

tylersmith513
5 years 6 months ago

go reds!!!!!!!!

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

HALALUJAH!

About-damn-time.

crunchy1
5 years 6 months ago

No surprise here. Where does he play? Does he start over Freese at 3rd or is he a super utility guy?

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Both.

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

Super utility for sure. Until Ryan is ready he will be the everyday SS and schumaker’s platoon buddy at 2nd and make starts at LF when holliday needs a day off or 3B if freese falls through

crunchy1
5 years 6 months ago

Seems like a nifty little insurance policy. That certainly doesn’t help my Cubs, who’ll need some injuries and some off years from the Cards to have a chance. Lopez minimizes that risk a little. But hey, the Blackhawks are looking pretty darn good. Maybe I’ll start NHL Trade Rumors so I have something to brag about.

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

So we to from a 6mil bench player who was on the DL half the season to a guy who hit near .400 with us for 2mil.. Nice job mozeliak!

bjsguess
5 years 6 months ago

You can take the 385 average to the bank.

Ignore his career BA of 269. Or the fact that he posted a BAbip of 448 while with Cards (career BAbip is 320). The 169 PA’s should absolutely outweigh the other 3600 career PA’s where the guy was a below average offensive middle fielder.

Lopez at $2m is a smart move. Just don’t get your hopes up. He’s a decent middle infielder. A guy that will give you slightly below average offense and slightly above average defense. Expecting a repeat of 2009 is only setting yourself up for major disappointment.

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

Have you seen the 2 guys he’s replacing? Joe thurston and khalil Greene! I think it’s a pretty drastic improvement.

rayking
5 years 6 months ago

I viewed the move as a B+ transaction. Then, I read your comment which reminded me that our utility guy was Thurston last year (ouch). Now my opinion is upgraded to an A-.

Taskmaster75
5 years 6 months ago

Hope the Braves enjoy him. Maybe he will remember to hit the base once in a while.

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

He has hit .270+/.350+/~400 (or higher) and .335 to .360 wOBA (plus a 415 with the Cards) constantly since 2005 outside the 1.5 year stretch of issues with Washington. A middle infielder posting numbers like that is not “slightly below average offense” in any way possible. That is constantly above (to way above) the ML average, and well above the average MI marks.

CardinalsOwn
5 years 6 months ago

Good Signing for the Cardinals. Do not let Freese come up this year.

InTheKZone
5 years 6 months ago

I say let Freese come up this year. Use Lopez where ever he is needed on any given day. Be it third, short, OF. Give the kid (Freese) a shot to see what he can do. He can’t fail any worse than the Joe Thurston experiment.

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

I agree. But even if freese falls through, I’d rather have Allen craig start over lopez

revpauld
5 years 6 months ago

I believe there is a reason they’ve moved Craig around to so many different positions in his short minor league career. They have yet to find a defensive position he can play particularly well, although they seem to think he can handle LF better than 3B. But like Duncan and Wallace before him, he’s a very good minor league hitter whose best position is 1B, and he can’t play there in St. Louis. But I don’t want him as our starting 3B no matter how well he hits, not given how much our pitching staff depends on having solid defense behind them.

revpauld
5 years 6 months ago

I believe there is a reason they’ve moved Craig around to so many different positions in his short minor league career. They have yet to find a defensive position he can play particularly well, although they seem to think he can handle LF better than 3B. But like Duncan and Wallace before him, he’s a very good minor league hitter whose best position is 1B, and he can’t play there in St. Louis. But I don’t want him as our starting 3B no matter how well he hits, not given how much our pitching staff depends on having solid defense behind them.

wakefield4life
5 years 6 months ago

good for him. He had a decent year last year, and he should have had a contract a long time ago.

InTheKZone
5 years 6 months ago

I’d rather rotate them. Let Craig work his way into the rotation. He should be on the team on Opening Day. Will he? I don’t know.

Edit: That was meant to be a response to Ferrariman.

CardinalsOwn
5 years 6 months ago

Craig isn’t a pitcher…You said work his way into the rotation. He will most likey be a benched 4th OF. I’m just worried on Freese, He gotten 2 DUI’S and i don’t think he’s mature enough to come up. I’d rather have my man flip lopez hitting .320+ and a lefthanded bat. Although i wouldn’t mind freese getting spot starts, I wouldn’t even mind Switch Felipe Lopez to 3rd Permantly, resigning him to a longer deal, and trading freese for pitching.

jdub220
5 years 6 months ago

He didn’t mean pitching rotation.

InTheKZone
5 years 6 months ago

Yeah, I didn’t mean rotation, I meant to say lineup. Thanks for clearing that up.

billings
5 years 6 months ago

freese has 1 DUI, is 26/27, and has hit at every level including the majors last season.

billings
5 years 6 months ago

freese has 1 DUI, is 26/27, and has hit at every level including the majors last season.

revpauld
5 years 6 months ago

Lopez will play a super-utility role, getting starts at 3B and SS against the toughest RH’s, and playing some in the OF, possibly with Ludwick sliding over to play CF, against the toughest LH’s, and giving us a solid switch-hitting presence on the bench on days when he isn’t in the lineup. But he won’t be our everyday 3B–Freese will, and he will surprise a lot of people with how good he is. Go Cards!

Lanidrac
5 years 6 months ago

Against the tough lefties, I’d rather see Schumaker slide over to center and Lopez play at second. That would provide much better defense. He should still get some starts in the outfield as our 4th outfielder, though.

revpauld
5 years 6 months ago

You do realize that Schumaker is LH himself, right? The point would be to get another RH bat in the lineup against the toughest LH’s, hence Lopez playing in the OF and possibly Ludwick sliding over to CF, which he has played in the past, although he’s not the best defensive option we have. Unless Mather or some other RH hitter who can play CF better makes the roster, this would be the best option to spell Rasmus if he still struggles against LH’s as he did last year.

revpauld
5 years 6 months ago

You do realize that Schumaker is LH himself, right? The point would be to get another RH bat in the lineup against the toughest LH’s, hence Lopez playing in the OF and possibly Ludwick sliding over to CF, which he has played in the past, although he’s not the best defensive option we have. Unless Mather or some other RH hitter who can play CF better makes the roster, this would be the best option to spell Rasmus if he still struggles against LH’s as he did last year.

Lanidrac
5 years 6 months ago

You do realize that Schumaker is still in the lineup at second base in your scenario, right? Schumaker is OK against lefties. The idea is to replace Rasmus with Lopez in the lineup. Both of our ideas accomplish that (with Schumaker still in the lineup either way), but my way gives us better defense.

revpauld
5 years 6 months ago

No, in my scenario, we would play Lugo at 2B against tough LH’s and Lopez in the OF. So Schumaker would get a day off, and we’d have an all RH lineup that day. I agree, though, Schumaker is more acceptable against LH’s than Rasmus has been so far.

revpauld
5 years 6 months ago

No, in my scenario, we would play Lugo at 2B against tough LH’s and Lopez in the OF. So Schumaker would get a day off, and we’d have an all RH lineup that day. I agree, though, Schumaker is more acceptable against LH’s than Rasmus has been so far.

Lanidrac
5 years 6 months ago

You do realize that Schumaker is still in the lineup at second base in your scenario, right? Schumaker is OK against lefties. The idea is to replace Rasmus with Lopez in the lineup. Both of our ideas accomplish that (with Schumaker still in the lineup either way), but my way gives us better defense.

bjsguess
5 years 6 months ago

So did Boras really screw him over? His new agents got him a 1/$2m role that is hardly a guaranteed starting spot. Frankly, if I’m Lopez I think this deal sucks.

prophetjohn
5 years 6 months ago

it does suck for him. but if i’m mo’, i’m puffing on my cigar, scratching my belly thinking about how cool i am

Redbirds16
5 years 6 months ago

If I’m Mo, I’m hanging out with Pujols, Molina, Carp, Waino, and Holliday… thinking about how cool I am.

5 years 6 months ago

I think Lopez will definitely be underwhelmed with the deal, but the waiting game of his old agent was clearly about to leave him hung out to dry. At least his new agents got him a decent salary, a healthy chunk of plate appearances, and a slot on a team with some World Series hopes. I don’t think he can be too pissed at them for the amount of time they were given and the results they gave.

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

I am still mesmerized by your inability to grasp the concept of supply and demand. When Lopez fired Boras *less then 2 weeks ago* all of the middle infield jobs had *already been filled* by the 20-some-odd middle infielders who had previously signed. How was his new agent going to get him jobs that were no longer available paying him money that teams long ago spent?

Unless his agent happened to have a time machine available to him…

Triteon
5 years 6 months ago

Yes, being on a NL playoff-favorite team is always a downer. I’m sure Lopez is sad.

5 years 6 months ago

Sucks? 2 days ago he had no contracts…

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

This is gonna sound really greedy but:

If this was only 2mil, then dont we still have a bit over 4mil left to spend? I say calero or dye if he will except a PH+fourth OF role

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

I don’t mean sign them for 4mil but 1.5mil for dye and 800k for calero+750k incents

prophetjohn
5 years 6 months ago

no thanks on dye. i like kiko, but apparently people who know more than me don’t like his shoulder

Taskmaster75
5 years 6 months ago

Just get Calero, and I will be ecstatic for this offseason.

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Yeah we need work in the bullpin. Bottom line. Good deal Mo, but honestly.. who didnt see that coming? and coming cheap. What about bringing Springer back? He was solid playing for the Birds.

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

He’s 41 yr old.. If we bring in any 40+yr old..it’s smoltz. Il take my chances with calero.

Taskmaster75
5 years 6 months ago

Springer for the league minimum (Which he said he would play for I believe) would be fantastic. That’s a shutdown arm against right handed hitters, and he isn’t too lacking against LHP. Calero has a bit more upside, but I like either one.

Redbirds16
5 years 6 months ago

Springer loves StL. Partly because of his daughter’s situation but also because of the organization. Springer, Calero, or Smoltz would be welcome additions in my opinion. Of course, many teams would welcome those players if the price were right.

5 years 6 months ago

…And Alex Cora will make $2 million. Gotta love Omar!

VinnyG917
5 years 6 months ago

I was thinking the same thing…. Couldnt the Mets just have not given out 2 or 3 of their useless minor league deals and picked him up? I know they have alot invested in Castillo and Cora, but for $2mm he is so worth it.

kyle1218
5 years 6 months ago

lol I actually burst out laughing when i read this comment.

5 years 6 months ago

“Omar and the Mets” is the joke that keeps on giving.

Luckily for them, Citi Field has great tacos–which is the only reason to see a Mets game this coming season.

jcrabtree7
5 years 6 months ago

Ok, I get it, good signing by the Cards, I like it. But something I’ve noticed everyone has seemed to have left out is, Where does Lugo fit into all this?

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

Theirs a reason why lugo’s nickname is “Stone-glove”

He will be a PH, backup-not utility middle infielder, and TLR says he might see a little of the outfield but I doubt it.

jcrabtree7
5 years 6 months ago

I think Lugo’s last playing time in the OF was his short stint with the Dodgers in ’06, so I would be surprised to see him out there also.

frontdeskmike
5 years 6 months ago

I wouldn’t be surprised to see TLR put anybody in the outfield. He’s done it with utility infielders all the time. Miguel Cairo, Marlon Anderson, Filipe Lopez, and to a lesser extent, Adam Kennedy.

NYBravosFan10
5 years 6 months ago

Where does Lugo fit? In the costume of the mascot of their Rookie affiliate. That’s pretty much all he’s worth.

Redbirds16
5 years 6 months ago

Lugo is a lighter hitting Lopez. His skill sets are a little different too. I see Lugo more a slap/contact hitter. Hit and run kinda plays. Lopez obviously has more power. One guy you’ll bring to the plate in the 9th inning with RISP. The other you’d bring into the game earlier to start the runners and get things going.

Also I think Lugo is a little better fielder. I know Boston fans think his fielding is atrocious, but I’m more compelled to think their coaching sucks. I mean, their pitching coach couldn’t pick up that Smoltz was tipping pitches and had a mechanical flaw. Star players (like Ortiz) go into prolonged slumps… where’s the hitting coach? It wouldn’t surprise me if their fielding coach was slacking on the job too. Francona is solid, but I think the people he’s surrounded himself with have dropped the ball on many players.

schick0513
5 years 6 months ago

I say bring back Smoltzy, then you have your 1-5 you have rich hill as your solid number 6 (praying for a miracle). then you keep McClellan as your setup man.

Redbirds16
5 years 6 months ago

Sign Smoltz mid season (June) to keep him fresh into September (dare I say October?).

schick0513
5 years 6 months ago

I don’t know that he lasts that long on he market. if someone goes down for any team he is probably the first call made. on a different topic that is so badass that you’re a Ray Lankford fan. My favorite cardinal EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

Redbirds16
5 years 6 months ago

Ray Ray was the only thing the Birds had going for them for the better part of the ’90s.

Smoltz will check in with the Cards (and many other teams) before signing wherever he goes. I think the Cards have as good a chance as anyone at this point. Of course if Hill returns to form and the bullpen is solid (Motte’s breaking ball, Franklin’s a stud, McClellan performs, etc…)

5 years 6 months ago

Cards have postseason to offer Smoltz. He’s made his money.

NYBravosFan10
5 years 6 months ago

Great signing for the Cardinals and I really don’t know why it took so long to sign this guy

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

so basically, lopez fills these needs;

1-speed
2- much needed bench
3-utility middle infielder
4-platoon partner for shchumaker
5-fallback on freese

and best of all,
6- when he leaves next season, we get a 1st round pick ( maybe 2 ) to bolster the farm.

for 1.75MM…damn.

rockiesfan_303
5 years 6 months ago

Got a lot less money than he thought he’d get. but prob best position for him

1. Schumaker 2B
2. Rasmus CF
3. Pujols 1B
4. Matt Holliday LF
5. Ludwick RF
6. Molina C
7. Lopez 3B
8. Lugo/Ryan SS

5 years 6 months ago

Great signing. I don’t think Lugo makes the Cardinals out of ST without more injuries. If Brendan Ryan’s recovery is on track then I think they will use Lopez and Tyler Greene to bridge to Ryan’s return. I don’t see how Lugo fits into the Cardinals roster plans at this point. Maybe someone will give the Cardinals a bullpen prospect or something for a year of Lopez at the league minimum. I just don’t think Lugo has much value to the Cardinals now. I expect him to be traded or DFA’d before May 1st barring major injuries.

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

lugo will definitly make the team.

Do you know what our bench consists of?
lopez
lugo
la rue

thats it.

well you got some other minor leaguers who prob will compete for the 24th and 25th roster spots…but thats not gonna help much.

Redbirds16
5 years 6 months ago

Don’t short change Allen Craig, Tyler Greene, Joe Mather, and Jon Jay.

They’ve got some talent in the minors, all of them probably good enough to play in the bigs, but all with some drawback. Craig needs a place to play the field (his bat is a plus bat for sure), Greene needs to learn some plate discipline (his fielding is a little behind Ryan’s but still ML quality), Mather needs to stay healthy, and Jay is a solid fielder who hits decently with doubles power (not really better than our current stock).

I’m also interested to see what Mac can do with Stavinoha. The guy has tremendous raw power, but his swing is limiting. The guy will never be able to field very well (slow), but if he can realize his power potential, he’ll be able to contribute. He hit a BOMB off the facing of Big Mac land last year, a glimpse of his power, but he’s not consistent in his approach.

5 years 6 months ago

This just makes the potentially already dangerous lineup for the Cardinals, THAT more dangerous. Not only does it provide bench depth, but can you imagine a solid hitter such as Lopez coming in for a pinch hit opportunity, or even getting the start over one of your usuals? I don’t care what people say, Lopez has proven that hes matured as a hitter in the past few years. I say platoon him with the two guys in the middle infield for awhile, give Freese a shot at the everyday job at third, if he does lousy for the first month of the season, or Spring Training proves he isn’t ready for the show quite yet, start Lopez at 3rd and give Freese that much more time to become an even more dangerous hitter. Getting Lopez for that cheap, I say is probably one of the best signings of the off season!

I’m curious to see if Big Mac tinkers with his stance at all in the cage… One things for sure, 2010 will be an interesting year for all Cards fans!

GO CARDS!

coachjwade
5 years 6 months ago

Type your comment here.Here’s the deal…great sign by the Cards…took long enough but great deal.
I view it as “completing the team” he gives us so many options.
Our BIG GUYS upstairs has finally got off their pocket books and got us some GREAT off-season moves to help us out.
1) Penny is going to do fine in the #4 spot
2) Lopez can fill in at SS/2B/3B/OF anytime LaRussa needs him and .310+ will help
3) R. Hill will be a decent #5 starter is his health keeps where it is and ST goes good.

-Our Starting Rotation can compete with any SR in the majors… THE best 1-2 punch around….BP is solid….CL is an All-Star talent. Oh and Dunc’ as P coach!!
-Yadi at catcher….need I say more
-Pujols at 1B…again need I say more
-Middle IF is very solid esp with Lugo and Lopez able to give rest days to Skip and Ryan
-3B will be a weakness for a while but between Lopez, Freese, Craig, Ryan, Lugo, and TLR won’t be a weakness for long.
-OF is STACKED!!! Holliday, Rasmus, and Ludwick all All-Star caliber players…Lugo and Craig to help when needed.

We are in great shape for Opening day:
1) Skip 2B BULLPIN
2) Rasmus CF Miller
3) Pujols 1B Reyes
4) Holliday LF Mott
5) Ludwick RF Hawksworth
6) Yadi C Boggs
7) Ryan SS McClellan
8) Lopez 3B Franklin (CL)
9) Carp P

Bench:
LaRue (C/1B) Jugo (2B/SS/3B/OF)
Graig (OF/3B) Green (3B/SS/2B) many forget about him
Freese (3B/1B)

InTheKZone
5 years 6 months ago

As much as I’d like to agree with what you said fully, I still don’t feel comfortable with the pen. Franklin should be nothing more than a setup on any team. Now, if we sign Calero or Smoltz to throw in there, I’d feel much, much better.

Redbirds16
5 years 6 months ago

Ryan may start on the 15-day DL (no need to rush him back). Mather may play his way into the equation. Garcia as well if Hill flops. Jon Jay may make it up to the club at some point too.

Ferrariman
5 years 6 months ago

whose jugo? :]

Taskmaster75
5 years 6 months ago

Actually, there are reports that it seems more likely McLellan will be the 5th starter, which scares the crap out of me. I want to see Hill first at least.

Lanidrac
5 years 6 months ago

I too would like to see a veteran righty added to the ‘pen. If McClellan’s in the rotation, that leaves Franklin as the only righty with more than a year of ML service time.

By the way, I wouldn’t list 3B or OF among Lugo’s positions.

RedbirdRuffian
5 years 6 months ago

Great signing, at the very least adds quality depth at a low price. Scary how close Cards came to letting him get away they seemed indifferent about this and other moves to strengthen the roster. The team has 4 studs 2 of whom are pitchers and then a lot of mediocrity. Lopez is mlb proven and will play where needed and that will be dictated by what happens in spring training. Cards are counting on some young guys to come through (Freese, Craig, Rasmus etc) and if they fail, or their are injuries to the big 4, and/or the pitching beyond the 2 studs is below average; the team will struggle.

stackthedeck
5 years 6 months ago

I really don’t understand the point of this post….Couldn’t you pretty much take “Cards” out and replace it with any team in baseball? If the young guys fail, or there is injuries to their best players or if the pitching beyond your best pitchers is below average, the team will struggle.

Genius really.

stackthedeck
5 years 6 months ago

I really don’t understand the point of this post….Couldn’t you pretty much take “Cards” out and replace it with any team in baseball? If the young guys fail, or there is injuries to their best players or if the pitching beyond your best pitchers is below average, the team will struggle.

Genius really.