Wilton Lopez Rumors

Minor Moves: Fisher, Clay, Diaz, Panik, Stinson

Here’s a look at today’s minor moves from around the league.

  • The Braves have purchased the contract of Carlos Fisher from the Somerset Patriots and assigned him to Triple-A, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com. Fisher, 31, previously spent parts of three seasons with the Reds, most recently in 2011. He posted a 4.74 ERA, 7.84 K/9, and 5.02 BB/9 in 98 2/3 innings.
  • The Angels have signed Caleb Clay from the Korean Baseball Organization’s Hanwha Eagles and assigned him to Triple-A, according to Cotillo (via Twitter). Clay was selected 44th overall by the Red Sox during the 2006 amateur draft. He’s since pitched for the Sox and Nationals organizations but never reached the majors. The 26-year-old right-hander struggled in his first season overseas, with a 8.33 ERA, 4.50 K/9, and 5.63 BB/9.
  • Once again from Cotillo (on Twitter), the Diamondbacks have signed 27-year-old Argenis Diaz to a minor league deal. Diaz was with the Reds until recently. Interestingly, Arizona’s Triple-A affiliate has only used Didi Gregorius and Nick Ahmed at shortstop to date in 2014. Diaz will presumably provide depth up the middle.

From earlier…

  • The Tigers will promote lefty Pat McCoy, Mark Anderson of TigsTown.com tweets. McCoy will have to be added to their 40-man roster. McCoy, 25, has posted a 2.94 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 33 2/3 innings this season divided between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo. The Tigers signed McCoy, a product of the Nationals system, to a minor league deal last fall.
  • The Giants will promote prospect Joe Panik, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. Panik, the team’s first-round pick in 2011, will need to be added to the Giants’ 40-man roster. The second baseman was hitting .321/.382/.447 in 326 plate appearances for Triple-A Fresno.
  • The Orioles have announced that pitcher Josh Stinson has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles designated Stinson for assignment on Tuesday. He has pitched 13 innings for the Orioles this season, allowing nine runs while striking out six and walking six.
  • The Rockies have purchased the contract of pitcher Wilton Lopez, MLB.com’s Thomas Harding tweets. They’ve made space for Lopez by optioning pitching Chris Martin to Triple-A Colorado Springs and moving Michael Cuddyer to the 60-day DL. The Rockies outrighted Lopez last week.
  • The Yankees have released 1B/OF Russ Canzler, Donnie Collins of the Scranton Times-Tribune tweets. Canzler last appeared in the big leagues with the Indians in 2012. He hit .263/.332/.389 in 199 plate appearances for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2014.
  • The Royals have added selected the contract of OF Justin Maxwell, Jeffrey Flanagan of FOX Sports Kansas City tweets. Maxwell will take Norichika Aoki’s place on the active roster as Aoki heads to the disabled list with a groin injury. The Royals outrighted Maxwell in May, and he’s hit .316/.358/.541 in 106 plate appearances since then.
  • The Astros will add Jake Buchanan to their 40-man roster to start Saturday, and Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle notes (via Twitter) that fellow pitcher Jose Cisnero will head to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Buchanan on the 40-man roster. Buchanan, 24, has posted 5.2 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9 in 76 1/3 innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City this season.

Minor Moves: Wilton Lopez, Michael Taylor

Here are today’s minor moves from around the big leagues.

  • The White Sox have announced that they’ve acquired outfielder Michael Taylor from the Athletics for pitcher Jake Sanchez. Taylor, 28, played sparingly for the Athletics in 2011 through 2013. He posted a .243/.357/.385 line in 258 plate appearances for Triple-A Sacramento this year and is a career .275/.367/.436 hitter at the Triple-A level. Sanchez, 24, had a 2.80 ERA with 9.7 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 for Class A+ Kannapolis. The White Sox purchased his contract from the independent Joliet Slammers last year.
  • The Rockies have outrighted pitcher Wilton Lopez to Triple-A Colorado Springs, according to MiLB.com. The Rockies designated him for assignment on Tuesday. Lopez, 30, allowed 18 hits and eight runs in 6 1/3 innings of work over four outings for the Rockies this season. He has a career 3.54 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 in 305 1/3 innings over six seasons.

Rockies Designate Wilton Lopez For Assignment

The Rockies announced, via Twitter, that right-hander Wilton Lopez has been designated for assignment in a series of roster moves. Michael Cuddyer has been placed on the 15-day DL with a left shoulder strain, and rookie right-hander Eddie Butler has also hit the DL due to inflammation in his right rotator cuff. Lopez’s DFA creates room for right-hander Christian Bergman, whose contract was selected from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Additionally, Chad Bettis has been recalled from the minors.

The 30-year-old Lopez spent three seasons as one of the most underrated setup men in baseball with the Astros, pitching to a 2.64 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9 in 2014 1/3 innings. Lopez’s elite command and a ground-ball rate near 56 percent in that time attracted the Rockies, who acquired him in a trade that sent Alex Gillingham and Alex White to Houston in exchange for Lopez and a player to be named later (Jose Monzon).

However, Lopez has largely disappointed in one-and-a-half years with the Rockies, pitching to a sub-par 4.63 ERA. Lopez has allowed 18 hits (three homers) in just 6 1/3 innings this season, and he’s seen stark declines in his strikeout rate, velocity and ground-ball rate since coming over to Colorado. The decline isn’t necessarily a complete shock, as the Phillies were set to acquire him prior to Colorado’s acquisition but called the deal off due to concerns over Lopez’s shoulder.



Players Avoiding Arbitration: Detwiler, Young, Snider

Click here for background on the upcoming arbitration schedule and how MLBTR is covering it. You can also check in on our Arbitration Tracker and look at MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz's arbitration projections. We'll use this post to keep tabs on players avoiding arbitration today:

  • The Nationals announced on Twitter that they have avoided arbitration with lefty Ross Detwiler. The New York Post's Joel Sherman reports (also on Twitter) that Detwiler received a $3MM salary and can earn an additional $50K for reaching 180 innings.
  • Sherman reports that the Mets and Eric Young Jr. have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $1.85MM (Twitter link). Young batted .251/.318/.329 in 418 plate appearances for the Mets in 2013 after he was acquired from the Rockies. He also swiped 38 bases in 45 tries, showing off his blazing speed.
  • Sherman tweets that the Pirates have avoided arbitration with Travis Snider by agreeing to a one-year, $1.2MM contract. The former Top 10 overall prospect batted just .215/.281/.333 in 285 plate appearances in 2013, though he's a solid defender and is still entering just his age-26 season.
  • Sherman also reports that Tim Collins agreed to a one-year, $1.3625MM contract with the Royals, thereby avoiding arbitration (Twitter link). Collins has a strong 3.51 ERA in 190 career innings with 9.7 K/9 in his first three seasons, but he's struggled with command, as evidenced by his 5.2 BB/9 in that time. His control has improved a bit over the past two seasons.
  • The Yankees and Francisco Cervelli have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $700K, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (on Twitter). Cervelli, who turns 28 in March, is a career .271/.343/.367 hitter in 623 plate appearances.

(more…)


East Notes: Doumit, Blue Jays, Drew, Valle

Braves GM Frank Wren says he viewed Ryan Doumit as the best player available to fill his bench need because "he's almost two players in one," tweets Mark Bowman of MLB.com. Atlanta acquired Ryan Doumit from the Twins in exchange for left-hander Sean Gilmartin earlier today.  More out of the AL and NL East..


NL West Notes: D-Backs, Headley, Boggs, Lopez

The Diamondbacks announced that they've hired Mike Harkey as their pitching coach and named Mel Stottlemyre Jr. bullpen coach. The 47-year-old Harkey has been coaching for 14 seasons, the past six of which have come with the Yankees on Joe Girardi's staff. Stottlemyre, 49, served as the D-Backs's pitching coach from 2009-10 and has served as the minor league pitching coordinator since. Here's more of the the NL West…

  • Peter Gammons of the MLB Network reports that the earliest the Padres would consider trading Chase Headley is next June. The team doesn't want to sell low on Headley coming off a season in which his OPS+ dropped by more than 30 points.
  • The Rockies have shopped Mitchell Boggs in trades as they attempt to gauge his value before determining whether or not to tender him a contract tonight, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
  • Renck also reports that the Rockies are expected to tender a contract to right-hander Wilton Lopez, despite the struggles he endured in 2013. Lopez posted a 4.06 ERA with 5.7 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 75 1/3 innings for the Rockies this past season after being acquired from the Astros for Alex White and Alex Gillingham.
  • Newly signed Angels reliever Joe Smith told reporters in a conference call that the Dodgers made him an offer on the free agent market but wouldn't guarantee a third year (Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times reporting on Twitter). The Dodgers appear to be seeking right-handed bullpen help, as they were also connected to Jim Johnson in trade talks earlier this morning.

Rockies, Astros Complete Wilton Lopez Trade

The Rockies announced that they have received outfielder Jose Monzon from the Astros as the player to be named later in the Wilton Lopez trade.  The 21-year-old will report to extended spring training before being assigned by Colorado.

Colorado received Lopez and a PTBNL or cash considerations from the Astros in exchange for starter Alex White and minor leaguer Alex Gillingham in December.  Lopez hasn't been terribly sharp so far in 2013 as he has posted a 6.17 ERA across 11 and 2/3 innings of work, though he does have eight strikeouts with no walks issued.

Monzon has yet to advance above Rookie ball in his four seasons in the Houston organization.  The youngster was not rated amongst the top 30 prospects in the Astros' farm system by Baseball America.

 


Rockies Avoid Arb With Wilton Lopez, Josh Outman

The Rockies have avoided arbitration with right-hander Wilton Lopez and left-hander Josh Outman by agreeing to one-year contracts with both pitchers, MLB.com's Thomas Harding reports (via Twitter).  Lopez's deal will pay him just over $1.76MM while Outman will earn $675K, a source tells Troy Renck of the Denver Post.

Lopez, acquired in a December trade with the Astros, posted a 2.17 ERA, a 7.3 K/9 rate, a 6.75 K/BB ratio and a 55% groundball rate in 64 games with Houston in 2012.  Lopez, 29, was projected by MLBTR's Matt Swartz to earn $1.4MM in his first time through the arbitration process.  Lopez is represented by the Legacy Agency.

Outman was also arb-eligible for the first time and was seen as a non-tender candidate by MLBTR's Tim Dierkes given Outman's 8.19 ERA in 27 games (seven of them starts) for the Rockies in 2012.  Outman did post an 8.9 K/9 — along with a 4.4 BB/9 and 10.4 H/9 — and pitched well for Oakland in three previous seasons, so $675K was a reasonable price for a Rockies team that is desperate for pitching.  Swartz projected Outman would earn $600K through arbitration.  Outman is represented by Turner Gary Sports. 

Jhoulys Chacin, Tyler Colvin, Dexter Fowler and Jonathan Herrera are Colorado's four remaining arb-eligible players.  You can follow the progress of their deals and more on MLBTR's ArbTracker.


Rockies Acquire Wilton Lopez

The Rockies added a late-inning reliever today, acquiring Wilton Lopez and a player to be named later or cash from the Astros for starter Alex White and minor leaguer Alex Gillingham, the teams announced.

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Lopez, 29, very nearly joined the Phillies last month before they called the trade off, perhaps over health concerns.  The Rockies are comfortable with Lopez's health, explained director of baseball operations Bill Geivett to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. The arbitration eligible righty posted a 2.17 ERA, 7.3 K/9, 1.1 BB/9, 0.54 HR/9, and 55% groundball rate in 66 1/3 innings this year and was projected to close for the Astros in 2013.  Lopez will be under the Rockies' control through 2015; he joins Rafael BetancourtRex Brothers, and Matt Belisle at the back end of Colorado's bullpen.  

Astros GM Jeff Luhnow has not been afraid to trade his best relievers, which paid off a year ago when he acquired Jed Lowrie from Boston in the Mark Melancon trade.  White, 24, spent most of his big league time this year in the Rockies' rotation.  He struggled, posting a 5.51 ERA, 5.9 K/9, 4.7 BB/9, 1.19 HR/9, and 54.1% groundball rate in 98 innings.  He pitched another 60 2/3 innings at Triple-A.  White, who was drafted 15th overall in 2009, joined the Rockies in July 2011 as part of the Ubaldo Jimenez deal with Cleveland.  Prior to that season, Baseball America said White had the potential to become a number three starter or better.  Gillingham, 23, posted a 3.66 ERA, 6.1 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, and 0.4 HR/9 in A ball this year. 

Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post first reported the deal was close.  Photo courtesy of U.S. Presswire.


Rockies Closing In On Acquiring Wilton Lopez

9:11pm: The Rockies are closing in on acquiring Lopez, tweets Renck.  Colorado would look to send two young pitchers to Houston.

9:05pm: The Rockies continue seeking relief help and have talked with the Astros about Wilton Lopez, tweets Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post.  Questions exist regarding Lopez's health, as the 29-year-old very nearly joined the Phillies last month before they called it off.  Lopez, who is arbitration eligible for the first time in 2013, posted a 2.17 ERA, 7.3 K/9, 1.1 BB/9, 0.54 HR/9, and 55% groundball rate in 66 1/3 innings this year.

The Rockies have been in active trade discussions for pitching at the Winter Meetings, tweeted Renck.  The Rockies appear to want the best of both worlds in their relief hunt: a late-inning guy capable of throwing multiple innings.