Rodrigo Lopez Rumors
The Phillies have released Rodrigo Lopez, Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports (on Twitter). Lopez, an MVP Sports Group client, signed a minor league deal with Philadelphia in January. He would have earned $1MM on the big league roster but will instead hit free agency.
Lopez made four relief appearances for the Cubs last season, but spent most of the year in Triple-A. The 37-year-old posted a 5.28 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 73 1/3 innings with Chicago's Iowa affiliate. A veteran of 11 MLB seasons, Lopez posted a 4.42 ERA in 97 2/3 innings for the 2011 Cubs.
The Phillies have confirmed the move.
12:25pm: Lopez will receive $1MM plus incentives if he's on the big league roster, reports Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com (on Twitter).
12:03pm: The Phillies have signed Rodrigo Lopez to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training, reports Fernando Ballesteros at the Mexican baseball magazine Puro Béisbol. The right-hander confirmed the agreement to Juan Santana at the TV station Canal 3 in Mexico. Nick Collias provided the translation.
Lopez, 37, is a MVP Sports Group client. He appeared in four games with the Cubs last season but spent most of the year in Triple-A, where he posted a 5.28 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 73 1/3 innings. Lopez made 16 starts and threw 97 2/3 innings for the Cubs in 2011. He'll give the Phillies some veteran Triple-A depth behind a workhorse rotation led by Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and John Lannan.
Here are the latest outright assignments from around MLB...
- Rodrigo Lopez cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A Iowa, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com tweets. The Cubs designated the veteran right-hander for assignment yesterday.
- The Nationals announced that they outrighted outfielder Brett Carroll to Triple-A (Twitter link). Carroll, who was designated for assignment earlier this month, has accepted the assignment to Syracuse. The 29-year-old has a .201/.280/.319 line in 324 MLB plate appearances and experience at all three outfield positions.
As if the Phillies didn't already have enough stars on the disabled list, Hunter Pence missed Monday's game due to a shoulder injury suffered diving for a ball Sunday against the Padres. The extent of the injury is yet unknown and Pence is considered day-to-day for the time being.
Some news from Monday in the Major Leagues...
- Dontrelle Willis talks to MASNsports.com's Roch Kubatko about the situation that resulted in Willis being placed on the Orioles' restricted list. Willis is "almost dumbfounded" by how things unfolded, as he thought he and the O's had agreed to part ways since he was injured and not adjusting well to relief pitching. "I don't understand what's really going on. I don't know if there's been a miscommunication there," Willis said. "Not with me. I talked to my agent and we talked about it, I talked to the proper representation, I talked to Dan [Duquette] personally....It was face-to-face. I don't know what's going on. And now if I want to sign with another team, I can't."
- Kubatko hears that Willis has drawn interest from a team in South Korea and a team in Japan, but Matt Sosnick, Willis' agent, denies that his client has received any offers.
- The Marlins' signing of Ivan Rodriguez in 2003 was "money well spent," team president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest tells Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. Beinfest doesn't regret any of the moves the club made that season (even trading then-prospect Adrian Gonzalez for Ugueth Urbina) because it led to a championship. "You always hate to trade away a talent like Adrian Gonzalez. But you make it every day if you're going to win the World Series," Beinfest said.
- Cubs manager Dale Sveum hopes Rodrigo Lopez will clear waivers and remain with the organization, reports ESPN Chicago's Doug Padilla. The right-hander was designated for assignment earlier today as the Cubs added Michael Bowden to the roster.
- Pedro Alvarez's struggles inspired a discussion of the greatest draft busts in history in this mailbag piece from Baseball America's Jim Callis. Alvarez, taken by the Pirates with the second overall pick of the 2008 draft, could be "the biggest waste of hitting talent in draft history" unless he turns himself around, Callis writes.
- Twins President Dave St. Peter told Jim Memolo and Jeff Nelson on MLB Network Radio that his team needs to pitch better to recover from its 5-11 start. St. Peter suggested the Twins could move Francisco Liriano to the bullpen temporarily. “He’s an asset for this franchise and we need to get him back into a situation where he can go deep into ballgames,” St Peter said. The 28-year-old lefty faces a make or break year and it was announced today that Liriano would skip his next start and not pitch until May 1.
The Cubs signed Lopez to a minor league deal in January and the 36-year-old right-hander made the team out of Spring Training. Lopez appeared in 26 games for the 2011 Cubs, posting a 4.42 ERA with 5.0 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 97 2/3 innings as a starter and reliever.
10:21pm: Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that Lopez will earn $900K if he is on the big league roster or $235K in the minors.
4:06pm: The Cubs have signed Rodrigo Lopez to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, according to Fernando Ballesteros at the Mexican baseball magazine Puro Béisbol (via Twitter). The team had been reported to be interested in bringing back the journeyman pitcher, and Ballesteros reported on Monday that rumors of the signing began circulating in the Mexican media over the weekend.
Lopez, 36, signed a minor league deal with the Braves last January but didn't make the roster out of spring training. After being traded to the Cubs in May, he played the role of a softer-tossing version of new Red Sox swingman Vicente Padilla, working in long relief and occasionally closing while waiting out a spot in the rotation. Lopez ended up logging 16 starts over the late summer, earning a 4.42 ERA with 5.0 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 over 116 innings.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune has several Cubs issues packed into his latest article. Here are the highlights:
- After meeting with new president Theo Epstein, Carlos Zambrano has told friends he thinks he will remain a Cub in 2012. Sullivan writes that Zambrano will still have to convince both new and pre-existing front office members that he's serious about making amends with his teammates.
- Epstein praised Carlos Pena and said that the club's arbitration offer by no means shuts the door on Pena's time with the team. Epstein expects Pena to decline arbitration but will continue discussions to bring him back. "He'd be an asset to the Cubs or any team," said Epstein of Pena.
- The Cubs have interest in bringing back Rodrigo Lopez as rotation depth.
- Starlin Castro won't be moved from shortstop in the near future for defensive reasons. Epstein feels defense is one area players can "absolutely, 100 percent get better with hard work."
- New manager Dale Sveum may bring in Dave McKay, a longtime coaching associate of Tony La Russa, as a coach.
- The Cubs made former big league pitcher John Koronka a regional scout in charge of Florida. Koronka , 31, last pitched for the Marlins in 2009.
- Jerome Williams, who provided a late-season boost in six starts for the Angels, is continuing to make a strong case for his spot the 2012 rotation with a dominant winter in Venezuela. In six starts for the Magallanes Navegantes, Williams is 5-0 with a 1.00 ERA, reports Luis Gonzales at El Universal. After four offseasons without a Major League deal, Williams is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter at age 29.
- Oliver Perez is technically a free agent, but the 30-year-old lefty told Fernando Ballesteros at Puro Beisbol, "I would say that I still belong to Washington, though anything could happen." Perez spent 2011 at the Nationals' Double-A affiliate in Harrisburg and will spend the winter pitching for the Culiacán Tomateros in the Mexican Pacific League. Fellow MLB free agents Vicente Padilla and Rodrigo Lopez also recently reported to the MPL looking for an offseason showcase, reports Ballesteros.
- In the same piece, Ballesteros notes that 41-year-old reliever Elmer Dessens doesn't want to go undergo another surgery on his pitching arm, and that "it is only a question of time before he officially says goodbye to the diamond." Dessens was reported to have signed a minor league contract with the Giants last February, positioning him to become the first Mexican pitcher to play in the majors into his forties, but the deal fell through and he sat out the season.
- Also in the piece, Ballesteros adds that the Pirates recently offered 200K to 15-year-old Mexican pitching prospect Julio Cesar Urias, but Urias’ parents rejected the offer. According to Ballesteros, the young lefty is currently being wooed by several MLB teams, the Diablos Rojos of the Mexican league, and the Gonzalez Sports Academy, which is co-owned by Adrian Gonzalez and his brothers Edgar and David.
This is a running list of players who have cleared waivers, based on published reports. Once a player clears waivers, he can be traded to any team (barring a no-trade clause). This list can always be found in the sidebar under MLBTR Features. Player names are linked to the source articles.
Updated 8-30-11 at 10:56pm
- Aaron Harang, Padres - Harang's ERA is a respectable 3.92 with 6.7 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in pitcher-friendly Petco Park.
- Dontrelle Willis, Reds - Willis has bounced back with the Reds, posting a 4.10 ERA, 6.3 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, 0.68 HR/9, and 56.8% groundball rate in 52 2/3 innings.
- Carlos Zambrano, Cubs - Zambrano cleared waivers prior to being placed on the disqualified list. He has a short fuse, lousy stats, and over $22MM remaining on his contract through next year.
- Rodrigo Lopez, Cubs - Not surprising to see the journeyman clear waivers.
- Chris Capuano, Mets - Capuano owns a 3.74 SIERA as of August 14th and earns only $1.5MM plus incentives, so it's hard to see why a few teams didn't place claims.
- Bronson Arroyo, Reds - His peripheral stats haven't changed much, but Arroyo has a 5.31 ERA as of August 15th. $15MM of his $35MM contract is deferred through 2021 without interest. The deferrals are voided if he's traded, however. At any rate, expect Arroyo to stay put.
- Bruce Chen, Royals - Chen has his moments, but it's not surprising to see him clear waivers.
- Jason Vargas, Mariners - Like many of the starters here, Vargas' fastball wouldn't break a window. But he has less than a million bucks left on his contract this year and is under team control through 2013. He'd fit nicely at the back end of several rotations.
- Chien-Ming Wang, Nationals - His three starts this season were his first in over two years, so it's understandable that contenders wouldn't jump to claim him.
- Tom Gorzelanny, Nationals - Booted to the bullpen last month, the 29-year-old flyballing southpaw has posted strong strikeout rates in recent years but can't hold a rotation job.
- Ted Lilly, Dodgers - He always has strong strikeout-to-walk numbers, but is prone to the longball. With over 82% of his $33MM contract remaining ($27MM+), it's no surprise he cleared waivers.
- Joe Nathan, Twins - Nathan won't be traded, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
- Chad Qualls, Padres - Qualls is enjoying a bounce-back season, though his strikeout rate dipped to 5.3 K/9 this year.
- Bill Bray, Reds - Bray has been decent this year, and a little tougher against lefties. He'll be arbitration eligible for the second time this offseason.
- Hong-Chih Kuo, Dodgers - A dominant reliever last year, Kuo has dealt with a back injury and anxiety disorder as his control has eluded him.
- Huston Street, Rockies - Between a recent triceps injury and the $9MM+ owed to him through 2012, Street was expected to clear.
- Brian Fuentes, Athletics - He's owed over $6MM through next year, and has been mediocre for the A's.
- Jon Rauch, Blue Jays - Rauch is affordable, but he's on the DL for an appendectomy and wasn't great before that.
- Mike Gonzalez, Orioles - Gonzalez has been dominant in August, and against lefties. The problem is that he's still owed almost a million bucks.
- Kevin Gregg, Orioles - Gregg might be the worst reliever holding down a closer's job, and he's owed at least $6.4MM through next year.
- John Grabow, Cubs - He's been ineffective even against lefties, and he has over $700K remaining.
- D.J. Carrasco, Mets - The Mets signed Carrasco to a two-year deal in December - their biggest acquisition of the offseason - but optioned him to Triple-A in April. He stayed there until mid-June.
- Aramis Ramirez, Cubs - In July, Ramirez's agent said that his client would consider an August deal but he has since had a change of heart. The Cubs hold an option on Ramirez's deal worth $16MM.
- Alfonso Soriano, Cubs - This one was also obvious. SI's Jon Heyman notes on Twitter that the Cubs are willing to pay a "major, major chunk" of the $58.35MM owed to the left fielder through 2014.
- Lance Berkman, Cardinals - Berkman has said he hopes to re-sign with St. Louis after the season, when he hits free agency. Still, it's a surprise to see him clear waivers.
- Ryan Theriot, Cardinals - Theriot earns $3.3MM this year and will be a non-tender candidate after the season.
- David Wright, Mets - It's surprising that Wright cleared waivers, but it doesn't mean the Mets have interest in dealing him. Wright earns $15MM next year and can void a $16MM club option for 2013 if traded.
- Conor Jackson, Athletics - Olney notes that the Red Sox asked about the light-hitting 1B/LF/RF, but there doesn't seem to be any traction there.
- David DeJesus, Athletics - DeJesus has had a rough year but could at least be useful against right-handed pitching.
- Hideki Matsui, Athletics - The Athletics have several waiver trade candidates, and Matsui's hot second half and low salary (owed less than $2MM the rest of the season) could make him a popular target.
- Jason Bay, Mets - With Bay being owed at least $38.8MM through 2013, this was expected. It's only been 12 games, but Bay is at least having his first good month of 2011.
- Willie Harris, Mets - The versatile Harris has less than $200K left on his contract.
- Angel Pagan, Mets - It's been a dismal year for Pagan, who may be in line for a non-tender after the season.
- Carlos Lee, Astros - No surprise here, as the 35-year-old is hitting .263/.321/.417 and is owed almost $23MM through next year. El Caballo's ten-and-five rights kick in after the season.
- Johnny Damon, Rays - Damon blocked an August trade last summer and 12 months later he's a candidate to be traded once again.
Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.
Thursday night Quick Hits..
- Brandon Inge will pick up ten and five rights next Wednesday, according to John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press. That means the Tigers will need permission to trade Inge, who would like to spend the rest of his career in Detroit.
- Troy Renck of The Denver Post (via Twitter) could see the Rockies pursuing free agent catcher Bengie Molina. However, Renck tweets that the veteran would like to be in the majors right away and move through the minors quickly, which could be a hurdle.
- The Cubs have been looking hard for someone like Rodrigo Lopez, GM Jim Hendry told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. Earlier today, Hendry acquired Lopez in exchange for left-hander Ryan Buchter.
- The Erik Bedard deal looks a whole lot better for the Mariners now that the left-hander is back to his winning ways as of late, opines Greg Johns of MLB.com.
- Landing pitcher Alfredo Aceves appears to have paid off big time for the Red Sox through the first two months of the season, writes Tim Britton of the The Providence Journal.