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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Good Phight: Phils to acquire Wilton Lopez

Phillies trading for relievers? Has Ed Wade been re-hired?

According to Jim Salisbury and John Heyman the Phillies have an agreement to trade for Wilton Lopez from the Houston Astros. Lopez, arbitration eligible for the first time this year had a pretty stellar season for a pretty horrible team in 2012, posting a 6.35 K/BB ratio, and the 17th best xFIP in the game.If you look closely at that link, he was eerily similar to Jonathan Papelbon in virtually every category. Walked less, K’d less, but a fine relief pitcher nonetheless.

Lopez took over for Brett Myers as the closer in mid season for Houston and racked up 10 saves as well for a pretty dismal team. TGP hall of famer and numbers guru extraordinaire Matt Swartz projects a fairly modest 1.4mm salary through arbitration for Lopez, who has plenty of team control left.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 28, 2012 at 11:57 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, phillies, trade, wilton lopez

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   1. JRVJ Posted: November 28, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4311497)
The Phillies commentariat seems very happy with this move, though that obviously hinges on who is being sent back to the Astros.

If the Phils pried López away from the Astros for C (maybe even B) level prospects, then this is a steal (why couldn't other teams do the same?).

Since the Phils don't have THAT MUCH in their farm system, one would hope that they would not send what little good, upper level material they have to get López.
   2. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 28, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4311499)
Even from the Astros' depleted roster of last year they have now lost Lopez, Brian Bogusevic, Chris Snyder, Matt Downs, and outrighted Scott Moore back to AAA. Also Fernando Abad, Armando Galarraga, and Edgar Gonzalez (17 starts between them last year). Kyle Weiland has also been dropped from the 40-man. What happened to that guy?

What's their rotation now? Norris, Lyles, Keuchel, Harrell, and Ross Seaton? They have more combined experience than the A's rotation did in 2012, so they should do great.
   3. Tripon Posted: November 28, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4311500)
Maybe the Phillies traded Ryan Howard.
   4. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: November 28, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4311501)
That would be great. The Astros roster is 24 guys making minimum salary and Ryan Howard. The endpoint of that is when they go to the World Series with him sitting on the DL all year, like Jeff Bagwell.
   5. Weeks T. Olive Posted: November 28, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4311509)
Anyone else hear the name "Wilton Lopez" and immediately think "catcher"?
   6. SG Posted: November 28, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4311516)
Anyone else hear the name "Wilton Lopez" and immediately think "catcher"?


Sounds more like a good-fielding non-hitting middle infielder to me for some reason.

Is there any way both AL Wild Cards in 2013 don't come from the group of teams that get to play the freaking Astros 19 times apiece?
   7. eddieot Posted: November 28, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4311522)
Waiting to hear the price but this is a terrific bullpen piece for the Phils. Strong groundball tilt, really improved against lefties. Love it.
   8. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: November 28, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4311591)
The Phils' farm system** is not quite so depleted that the ole switcheroo would work:

Gallant: "We just got Wilton Lopez."

Goofus: "Great trade. Who'd we give up?"


** Especially if "near major league ready" is applicable, as we have been hearing.
   9. JJ1986 Posted: November 28, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4311595)
I hope it's Darin Ruf. He'll never get a chance in Philly.
   10. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: November 28, 2012 at 02:01 PM (#4311608)
JJ, I think the Phils will give Ruf a real shot in ST. They are intrigued by his power and think it is for real. The ball just explodes off his bat.
   11. Tricky Dick Posted: November 28, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4311610)
I expect some regression in Lopez's ERA in 2013. He also has given up a fair number of melt downs in his career (13 in 2012 and 17 in 2011). On top of that, Lopez seems to have DL time for arm injuries every year, probably due to over use. Depending on the return, I can see this as nice "sell high" move by the Astros. Lopez's high GB rate and control are his best attributes, and he is a good guy to bring into the game with runners on base. But I have never been excited by him as a "closer."
   12. SG Posted: November 28, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4311617)
JJ, I think the Phils will give Ruf a real shot in ST. They are intrigued by his power and think it is for real. The ball just explodes off his bat.


Does Ruf look like he can play LF full-time? I suppose Howard isn't a good bet to stay healthy all year but it'd be nice to see Ruf get a chance at full-time PT.
   13. Tricky Dick Posted: November 28, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4311622)
Kyle Weiland has also been dropped from the 40-man. What happened to that guy?


Weiland had a shoulder infection that resulted in significant arms surgery during the season. I don't know what his current rehab schedule has been like, but I think the Astros took him off the 40 man roster because of the injury. It's too bad, because he looked great in spring training last season.
   14. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: November 28, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4311658)
SG, I didn't see enough of Ruf in LF to answer that question with any comfort, but after living through Wes Covington, Greg Luzinski, Lonnie Smith, Inky, Pat Burrell and Raul Ibanez, I'm not too worried.
   15. 2 dudes are better than STIGGLES; i'm both of em Posted: November 28, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4311845)
if this goes through, my money would be on lopez blowing his elbow out in april and the phillies not getting anything out of him for the next two years.
JJ, I think the Phils will give Ruf a real shot in ST. They are intrigued by his power and think it is for real. The ball just explodes off his bat.
yes. that last sentence -- "the ball just explodes off his bat" -- is something that you cannot fake. forget the numbers for a second and just watch (hell, just listen to) some of his swings. there is serious power there.


has anyone figured out who the phillies are sending to houston if this goes through?
   16. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: November 28, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4311861)
Anyone else hear the name "Wilton Lopez" and immediately think "catcher"?

Sounds more like a good-fielding non-hitting middle infielder to me for some reason.

Haha, that's what I thought too! I think I had him confused with Wilson Valdez.
   17. 2 dudes are better than STIGGLES; i'm both of em Posted: November 28, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4311912)
has anyone figured out who the phillies are sending to houston if this goes through?
looks like the names are sebastian valle, bj rosenber, and michael scwimmer. valle is a decent prospect, but he's 4th on the team's depth chart at catcher and he doesn't hit for power and he doesn't have good plate discipline, so he's got pretty limited upside.

rosenberg and schwimmer are fungible relief prospects with good stuff (95+ MPH velocity), so they're nothing special.

all in all, i'd say this is a pretty great deal. at least until wilton lopez blows out his elbow 3 weeks into the season.


the pitching staff looks just about set right now.
SP: halladay, lee (L), hamels (L), worley, kendrick, cloyd, may, martin, pettibone, morgan (L), biddle (L), rodriguez
CL: papelbon
SU: lopez, bastardo (L)
FRP: aumont, de fratus, stutes, lindstrom, diekman (L), horst (L), valdes (L)

   18. Dock Ellis Posted: November 29, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4312311)
Robothal says this deal is not quite done yet. Tyler Cloyd may be in the mix.

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