According to Baseball Digest Daily, the Mariners have agreed to a four-year contract with second baseman Jose Lopez. Additionally the team has an option for 2011.
Lopez would’ve reached arbitration after this season had he not signed a multiyear pact. I’m trying to think of a second baseman who signed a similar deal at this stage in his career, but I’m coming up empty. Ian Kinsler and Josh Barfield might be in line for one after this season.
Lopez’s first half work (.280, 9 HR, 20 doubles, 48 runs, 58 RBIs) earned him an All-Star berth last year. His power disappeared after the break, however. The problem may be Mariner coaches pushing him to hit the ball the other way. Lopez slugged .505 a couple of times at Triple A, so the potential is there.
PECOTA likens Lopez to Bill Mazeroski, and also has Brooks Robinson, George Brett, and Ryne Sandberg among his top ten comparables. Lopez could certainly blossom into a star; he’s only 23.
Click here to read U.S.S. Mariner’s take on the extension.
The next task for Bill Bavasi might be to lock up Felix Hernandez through his arbitration years.