Felipe Lopez Rumors
A total of 22 players that finished the year in Triple-A elected free agency after the end of the regular season according to the transaction pages of the Pacific Coast and International Leagues. All but one of those 22 players (Matt Carson, formerly of the Rays) played in the big leagues this season. Here's the full list:
Dusty Brown (Pirates), Travis Buck (Indians), Armando Galarraga (D'Backs), Jay Gibbons (Dodgers), Edgar Gonzalez (Rockies), Steve Holm (Twins), Wil Ledezma (Blue Jays), Andy LaRoche (Athletics), Felipe Lopez (Brewers), Lastings Milledge (White Sox), Pat Misch (Mets), Pat Neshek (Padres), Mike O'Connor (Mets), Matt Palmer (Angels), Felix Pie (Orioles), Brad Snyder (Cubs), Brett Tomko (Rangers), Wyatt Toregas (Pirates), P.J. Walters (Blue Jays), Randy Williams (Red Sox), and Reggie Willits (Angels).
- A look at Royals closer Joakim Soria's contract situation shows that his $6MM option vested on July 30, when he pitched his 110th game between the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Soria's option vesting merely locks in his salary for 2012; he'd have been arbitration-eligible at any rate.
- David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wonders if the Braves should extend Michael Bourn, and what the cost of it would be. As O'Brien points out, it's hard to come by comparables for Bourn, and the best may be Juan Pierre, whose contract is widely regarded as a tremendous mistake.
- Baseball America's Matt Eddy runs down the week's minor league transactions.
- Recently, impending free agent C.J. Wilson said that now is not the time to look ahead to the offseason and his next contract. In an interview on 103.3 FM ESPN (audio link), Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine seemed to agree and said that the club isn't looking to negotiate mid-season, writes Bryan Dolgin of ESPNDallas.com.
- Infielder Felipe Lopez will report to the Brewers' Triple-A affiliate on Monday after being outrighted on Wednesday. The veteran didn't impress on Milwaukee's big league roster this year, batting .182/.245/.182 in 51 trips to the plate.
- It's time for Athletics GM Billy Beane to move on to a different challenge, writes Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle. While he's been linked extensively to the Cubs job, Jenkins wonders if Beane could be a fit for the Dodgers if GM Ned Colletti winds up being hired by Chicago.
- The Marlins have begun the process of looking at managerial candidates and there is still interest in some corners of the Florida organization in Ozzie Guillen, writes ESPN.com's Buster Olney. The White Sox skipper has another year on his current deal but it remains to be seen whether Guillen will be invited back.
MLBTR's Steve Adams contributed to this post.
Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the contract information used in this post.
A few items of note out of the NL Central, where the first-place Brewers owned a 9.5-game lead entering Saturday's action:
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin said he's giving infielder Felipe Lopez time to look for a job with another team before he must accept an assignment to Triple-A, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Lopez was recently designated for assignment, cleared waivers, and outrighted to Nashville.
- Melvin also mentioned that the Brewers were awarded two waivers claims but were unable to reach agreement on trades to acquire the claimed players, Haudricourt reports (Twitter link). It sounds like the claimed players were lefty relievers, according to Haudricourt.
- Pirates catcher Chris Snyder, on the DL since June, is hoping to return to action before the season's out, writes Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. The Bucs hold a $6.75MM option ($750K buyout) on Snyder for 2012, and Langosch speculates that while the Pirates may not find the option attractive, they might be interested in buying it out and re-signing Snyder at a lower cost.
Here are the latest players to get outrighted to the minor leagues...
- The Brewers outrighted Felipe Lopez to Triple-A after he cleared waivers, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (on Twitter). They had designated the infielder for assignment over the weekend.
MLB.com's Adam McCalvy tweets that the Brewers have designated veteran infielder Felipe Lopez for assignment in order to clear roster space for Chris Narveson, who will be activated from the disabled list.
Lopez hit .216/.248/.320 in 102 plate appearances for the Rays before they designated him for assigment earlier this year. He didn't fare any better in a Brewers uniform, batting .182/.245/.182 in 51 trips to the plate. This was Lopez's second stint with the Brewers, but his results couldn't have been any different. In 2009 he batted .320/.407/.448 in 66 games for the Brew Crew when they acquired in July of that year.
As the Brewers do battle with the Mets at Citi Field this afternoon, here's the latest news out of Milwaukee...
- Prince Fielder's suitors this winter could include the Brewers, Nationals, Cubs or, as a "possible sleeper," the Rangers, reports ESPN's Buster Olney (Twitter links). Both of the Los Angeles teams aren't likely to get involved -- the Dodgers because they likely won't have new owners in time and the Angels possibly due to their lack of a strong relationship with Fielder's agent Scott Boras.
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy looks at how the Brewers may have to make a 40-man roster move between games of their double-header with the Pirates on Monday. Manager Ron Roenicke said top prospect Wily Peralta won't be called up, while McCalvy speculates that right-hander Michael Fiers will instead get the call.
- As to who could be removed from the 40-man roster with Chris Narveson returning from the disabled list, both McCalvy and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link) think Felipe Lopez could be the odd man out. Lopez, acquired last month to help fill in for the injured Rickie Weeks, has hit just 186/.250/.186 in 50 plate appearances with Milwaukee.
- Right-hander Eric Arnett is struggling in Class A ball, but the Brewers are still confident in the 2009 first-round draft pick, reports McCalvy. "You have to remember that Eric was a late bloomer at Indiana. It took him until his third year to kind of put it together," says Milwaukee amateur scouting director Bruce Seid. "I think Eric got into our organization, and, as we've talked about many times before, he put a lot of pressure on himself. He got off to a slow start, and it kind of tailspinned for him." Arnett has a 5.31 ERA in 11 combined starts at Class A and rookie ball this season.
The Brewers acquired infielder Felipe Lopez from the Rays for cash considerations, tweets Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. He'll head to Triple-A Nashville for the time being. Brewers GM Doug Melvin moved quickly to add infield depth after Rickie Weeks injured his ankle yesterday. Melvin told Tom Haudricourt that no second basemen are on the market at a price he'll meet so he'll probably mix and match a variety of players.
Lopez, 31, was a July addition for Milwaukee back in 2009 as well. He struggled with the Rays this year but hit .305/.357/.474 in 207 plate appearances for their Triple-A club. Lopez was designated for assignment and cleared waivers twice already this year, so the cash the Brewers are considering sending shouldn't amount to much.
TUESDAY: For the second time this season, Lopez has cleared waivers after being DFA'd and accepted his assignment to Triple-A Durham, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (via Twitter).
It's been an interesting ride for Lopez and the Rays. He fell out of favor after not hustling and was DFA'd last month upon Evan Longoria's return from the DL. However, Lopez cleared waivers, accepted an assignment to Triple-A Durham and was later recalled. The Rays hope this DFA will play out similarly, writes Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.
The well-travelled Lopez owns a .265/.334/.393 in 11 Major League seasons. He signed a minor league deal with Tampa Bay prior to this season.
THURSDAY: Lopez cleared waivers and accepted an assignment at Triple-A, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times.
The Rays had signed Lopez to a minor league deal in February, and his contract was purchased on April 3rd when Longoria hit the DL. Lopez hit .222/.263/.347 in 76 plate appearances and further frustrated the Rays by not running out multiple grounders. The 30-year-old has been used all over the infield in his 11 big league seasons.
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter) knows that the point has been made before, but he finds it unfathomable that the Giants thought it smart to give $126MM to Barry Zito.
- The Orioles released minor league outfielder Danny Figueroa, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com.
- The Phillies have released Dan Meyer from their minor league camp, tweets Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.
- Within his Sunday Baseball Notes, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that the Rangers "haven't closed the door" on a Michael Young trade. Cafardo says not to rule out the Phillies, though the Phils are a little more optimistic about Chase Utley's health than they were a couple weeks ago.
- Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. says his club has room to add payroll this season "if the right situation develops," according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- WEEI.com's Alex Speier discusses former first round pick Jason Place, who the Red Sox released yesterday.
- In an article for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Terry Pluto takes a look at the Indians' future infield.