Braves Sign Rodrigo Lopez

The Braves announced that they signed Rodrigo Lopez to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, according to Ed Price of AOL FanHouse (Twitter link).

The Braves' rotation is already deep; Tim Hudson, Derek Lowe, Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens provide manager Fredi Gonzalez with four solid starters. Lopez will presumably battle with Mike Minor for a rotation spot and Kenshin Kawakami and Brandon Beachy provide Atlanta with even more options.

Lopez logged 200 innings for the Diamondbacks last year, posting a 5.00 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9. The 35-year-old induced more fly balls than ground balls last year, posting a 37.6% ground ball rate. Lopez underwent Tommy John surgery in 2007 and missed time with shoulder inflammation in 2009 before recovering to start 33 games last year, the second-highest total of his career.

54 Responses to Braves Sign Rodrigo Lopez Leave a Reply

  1. BG921 4 years ago

    Ew, even at a depth move I don’t like this… Too many in house options available for the Braves to sign Lopez. Then again, Wren gave Proctor too much money when Atlanta already had in house options.

    • csg 4 years ago

      minor league contract…meaning if he sucks they’ll cut him

  2. goredsgo 4 years ago

    Nice deal. Could really be effective if the price is right

  3. Over/Under, 25 homers allowed by Lopez.

    • davidsonrva 4 years ago

      yep. might as well put a tee up at home plate.

    • Under, he won’t give up any homers because he’s unlikely to pitch a single inning for the big-league club. Now, if the Braves don’t cut him after ST I suppose he could give up 25+ HR at the AAA level, wouldn’t shock me.

  4. 14 Rocks 4 years ago

    This is a puzzling addition. Did the Braves just need another AAA starter?

  5. 14 Rocks 4 years ago

    I also didn’t understand the Proctor signing. The Braves have Stephen Marek who was outstanding at AAA last year but they don’t seem to want to give him a chance to make the team.

  6. I fail to see how Lopez is a better rotation option than Kawakami, nevermind Minor or Beachy

  7. RiverKKiller999 4 years ago

    Minor League depth can never hurt any one.

  8. roberty 4 years ago

    Wren figures nobody will trade for Kawakami if Lopez is available.

    • Exactly, and that’s a great point. Signing him to a minor league deal doesn’t really hurt you and it takes one more “innings eater” off the market to make KK seem a little more like a viable option. As we’ve seen before, there usually is a method to Wren’s madness.

  9. BravesQueen 4 years ago

    All I can say is…..WHY???

  10. Smart move, Lopez. I assume he doesn’t want to see big-league action this year? Throw 200+ horrible innings and then sign with a club that has arguably the deepest pitching in the NL?

  11. nictonjr 4 years ago

    Seems like Rodrigo is tired of getting pounded in the bigs. He’s probably 10th on the Braves SP depth chart…

    • Let’s see:


      So yeah, that’s about right. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Vizcaino get the call ahead of Lopez, although he’s still a couple of years away. Lopez is just awful and if it weren’t for his ability to limit walks, he would’ve been out of the big-leagues years ago.

  12. I don’t see why he didn’t sign with a team like the Nats that needs SP..

    Wierd signing..

  13. Muggi 4 years ago

    I assume the Braves and Mets’ fans who were saying yesterday that signing Jason Grilli to a minor-league deal showed the weakness of the Phils’ pen would agree that this shows the weakness of the ATL rotation, right?

    (of course it doesn’t, but the thought is equally asinine.)

    • bobrewer 4 years ago

      Except Philly’s ‘pen actually is weak. Atlanta has tons of solid starters to make a formidable rotation.

  14. Man, I had no idea Lopez was THIS bad last year. I looked up his splits hoping to find some sort of optimism and I find this:

    Against righties: .812 OPS
    Against lefties: .856 OPS

    Home: .825 OPS
    Away: .840 OPS

    First half: .784 OPS(even with a .274 Babip)
    Second half: .900 OPS

    Worst full-time starter in the game last year?

    • roberty 4 years ago

      He’s gotta be the worst pitcher to throw that many innings last year, but I think Charlie Morton and Ryan Rowland-Smith were more destructive, despite pitching about half as many innings.
      Morton (-2.4 WAR)
      2-12, 7.57 ERA, 1.732 WHIP and 59 SO in 79.2 IP

      Rowland-Smith (-3.6 WAR)
      1-10, 6.75 ERA, 1.692 WHIP with 49 SO in 109.1 IP.

  15. I wanted to give the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe Lopez would have better luck away from Chase Field. But lo and behold, which park is right next to Chase on the home run factor list? You guessed it: Turner Field.

  16. inkstainedscribe 4 years ago

    Who knows? Lopez pitches lights-out in spring training and maybe the Braves get something for him in a deal. This is the glass-over-full view, mind you …

    • roberty 4 years ago

      Your glass runneth over…with wishful thinking. Way to maintain a positive attitude!

  17. deeroll 4 years ago

    One person liked this on Facebook… Must have been a Mets fan.

  18. coolstorybro222 4 years ago

    If he steals innings away from Medlen and Beachy, I’ll be dissapponted

  19. TDKnies 4 years ago

    Gag. Depth signing, not going to pitch for the big club, etc. I get it. But can someone with his numbers even be considered depth?

  20. jhey_chosen1 4 years ago

    honestly i think this is just Frank building up some “major league ready” talent to put in a package deal for a cf/leadoff. you know that even if a guys numbers are terrible (lopez) the fact that he has major league innings makes him more attractive than a totally unproven prospect in a trade package

    • good way to look at it, although i doubt Lopez even makes the team period

      • jhey_chosen1 4 years ago

        yeah i dont think he will, we’ll just bring him down to spring training for a few days and hopefully he’ll be off or hands once he proves he still has a pulse

  21. braves808 4 years ago

    Yes! this is what we needed. We got Rodrigo Lopez, i’d take him over Roy Oswalt anyday

  22. bobrewer 4 years ago

    The Braves are simply signing any FA reserve starters so that teams must bid for Kawakami rather than signing a guy like Lopez on the cheap if they want a cheap reserve starter.

    • jhey_chosen1 4 years ago

      theres got to be a market for kk. im sure a team like the royals/dbacks? hopefully frank has heard some offers and is just being picky til these teams get desperate and up the bid a little

      • bobrewer 4 years ago

        Well, there’s definitely more of a market for KK now that FW has hoarded Lopez on the cheap. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start pawning off guys like KK and Beachy when the time comes that guys like Medlen/Teheran/Delgado are ready.

  23. EcurbTheMighty 4 years ago

    I can see the genius in it…sign him and let him be an example to all the young arms we have on what NOT to do to get to the Majors.

  24. Weird thing is . . . dude had 15 quality starts last year.

  25. BraveNewWorld 4 years ago

    Cy Young candidate next season…

  26. Braves1976 4 years ago

    I’m okay with depth minor league signings like this one. But I still say what Arizona is doing with Micah Owings made better sense for us.

    • xNobleEaglex 4 years ago

      I hear ya…at least Owings HITS homeruns to make up for the ones he gives up!

  27. Brian Harps 4 years ago

    maybe they signed Lopez to show the young kids what NOT to do when you pitch…only thing that makes any sense at all

  28. jmag043 4 years ago

    I would have figured Lopez would have gotten some sort of major league deal from a team looking for 200 league average innings

  29. Jair and Hanson are in the ATL until it’s time for them to get rich. Won’t be in the ATL. Hanson has not exactly been a world-beater yet. Jair is very good and should have a much better 2011. The Braves need bats in the outfield, especially CF.

  30. start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    It’s corrupt because a lot of teams gambled on the potential talent? On the other hand Longoria has made $1,086.96 per plate appearance.

    World’s not fair, get used to it.

  31. roberty 4 years ago

    If he didn’t make that money some baseball club owner (probably Peter Angelos) would have made it. How is it corrupt for the employee to get paid big bucks to be bad at his job when the team makes money either way?

  32. KK will still be here, because of his massive contract, if we can somehow rid of that huge thing, than we would…

  33. Nah, the Braves will use Jurrjens to acquire a player at the deadline because Teheran and Delgado are both going to be destroying the minors.

    That’s my best-case scenario on this issue, one that I would be unbelievably thrilled with. I’m just not a Jurrjens fan, and with him being a Boras client…..if Delgado and Teheran are ready when they’re expected to be, I really hope it’s Jurrjens that’s moved.

  34. Yeah, and again it was just a best-case scenario. I seriously doubt the Braves want 2 rookies in the rotation during a playoff run, even if one of them is arguably the best pitching prospect in the game.

    As for Hanson, I really hope they can extend him at some point(hopefully following the 2011 season)…

    Btw, do you see Kris Medlen fitting into the Braves long-term plans? I know it’s a tough call because we still need to see if Teheran, Minor, Vizcaino, or Delgado pan out, but I’ve always liked Medlen and feel he’s a solid #3 guy.

  35. I perfectly understand this from the Braves perspective, a depth move and there’s almost no risk.

    I don’t get why Lopez signed here, when he had a chance to sign with two other clubs that surely would’ve been able to get him some big-league innings at some point. When you’re as bad as Lopez is, you don’t sign with a team that has the most pitching depth in the NL unless they offered you significantly more money, which can’t possibly be the case here. Makes absolutely no sense for Lopez…

  36. roberty 4 years ago

    Eh. Nice wordplay,
    I guess “Until you look at the Phils rotation, then it’s apparent that the Braves are the second best team in the National League” doesn’t have the same ring to it.

  37. bobrewer 4 years ago

    What do you think a viable option would be in return for Jurrjens, particularly in CF or SS? If Grady Sizemore can get healthy, he may be worth the risk if Cleveland would do Jurrjens for Sizemore.

  38. roberty 4 years ago

    I love Medlen too. We won’t have room for all of our young arms forever, but I hope Medlen sticks around. I would imagine Hanson and Jurrjens will sign big contracts with other teams, with so many big pitching prospects on the horizon we probably won’t be looking to give out competitive long term deals, especially to JJ. Maybe we could deal them for a bunch of sick prospects when they have a year or two of team control left.

  39. I say go for a CF, we have several SS in the Minors that should be up within the next few years, we dont have that one guy for CF

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