Wilton Lopez Rumors
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.