Wilton Lopez Rumors
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.
- ESPN's Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Reds have avoided arbitration with outfielder Chris Heisey by agreeing to a one-year, $1.76MM contract. Heisey, who batted .237/.279/.415 with nine homers in 244 plate appearances last season, earned slightly more than Swartz's projection of $1.7MM. Though decreases in his walk rate and BABIP caused his numbers to suffer in 2013, Heisey is a solid defender that has feasted on left-handed pitching over the past two seasons.
- Sherman reports (on Twitter) that the Rockies and Wilton Lopez have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2.2MM. That number matches Swartz's projection on the dot. Lopez's 4.06 ERA was a disappointment for the Rockies last season, but his 75 1/3 innings were tied for 15th-most among relievers, and his 75 appearances tied for fifth-most in the Majors. ERA estimators like FIP, xFIP and SIERA all think his should've been roughly a half-run lower than it was, pegging him in the 3.57 to 3.69 range.
- Sherman also reports that the Mets and Ike Davis have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.5MM contract (on Twitter). Davis' name has been run through the rumor mill all offseason, but the latest reports seem to indicate that New York is no longer heavily shopping him and is instead prepared to take both him and Lucas Duda to Spring Training. Davis hit just .205/.326/.334 in 2013, though that includes a brutal first half. Following the All-Star break, Davis slashed an impressive .286/.449/.505. Swartz's projection for Davis was dead on, as he had him at exactly $3.5MM.
- The Athletics have reached agreement on a one-year deal to avoid arbitration with catcher John Jaso, reports John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle on Twitter. Jaso, 30, had an injury-shortened campaign last year with Oakland, but slashed .271/.387/.372 in his 249 plate appearances. In his best season as a pro, 2012, Jaso put up a .276/.394/.456 triple-slash in 361 trips to the dish. With his concussion issues at the end of last season, Jaso is expected to see time at DH in 2014. Swartz projected Jaso to earn $2.2MM, and he will in fact make $2.3MM, according to a report from the New York Post's Joel Sherman (via Twitter). The deal also includes $25K incentives for starting 90 games behind the plate and reaching 450 plate appearances, Sherman notes.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.
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..
- While Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulous is still engaged in trade talks, he might be content to stand pat at this stage of the offseason, writes Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.
- The Doumit pickup also allows Evan Gattis to pinch hit when he's not catching for the Braves, notes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter).
- The Red Sox are still interested in Stephen Drew following today's acquisition of infielder Jonathan Herrera, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Herrera will serve as a utility man for Boston.
- Former Phillies catching prospect Sebastian Valle appeared to be on the move last winter, along with pitcher Tyler Cloyd, in a proposed deal for Houston reliever Wilton Lopez, but the Phils backed off the deal because of concerns about the condition of Lopez’s arm, writes CSNPhilly.com's JIm Salisbury. The Phillies designated Valle for assignment this morning.
- Wren said the trade doesn't mean anything for Braves catching prospect Christian Bethancourt, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "When he’s ready to be our catcher, he’ll be our catcher."
- In today's mailbag, a reader asks MLB.com's Bill Ladson if the Nationals are done making moves this winter.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Betancourt, Rex 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.
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.
3:22pm: The Phillies have "put the brakes" on their attempt to acquire Lopez, Salisbury reports. Lopez had traveled to Philadelphia for a physical yesterday. It's not clear if there's a physical issue that's limiting the Phillies' interest.
1:20pm: The trade is now unlikely to happen, sources told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
THURSDAY, 9:40am: The status of the trade remains unclear, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). One of Rosenthal's sources says the deal isn't done and multiple teams are in the mix for Lopez. Another person said it would be a two for one trade, potentially with right-hander Tyler Cloyd going to Houston. The clubs have discussed the Phillies' young catchers, according to Rosenthal.
WEDNESDAY: The Phillies and Astros have agreed to a trade that will send Wilton Lopez to Philadelphia for minor leaguers, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The teams are finalizing the details of the deal.
Lopez, arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason, projects to earn $1.4MM in 2013. The 29-year-old posted a 2.17 ERA with 7.3 K/9, 1.1 BB/9 and a 55% ground ball rate in 66 1/3 innings with the Astros in 2012. In three-plus MLB seasons, he has a 3.14 ERA with 6.8 K/9, 1.6 BB/9 and a 55.9% ground ball rate. He's under team control through 2015.
The Phillies had been looking to acquire a reliever who can provide steady late-inning production. Lopez has pitched at least 65 innings in each of the past three seasons without posting an ERA above 3.00, so he'll be a welcome addition to the Philadelphia 'pen.
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com first reported the teams were seriously discussing a trade involving Lopez.