Phillies Close to Getting Setup Man
The Phillies are close to getting a setup man.
They are working on a trade for Astros right-hander Wilton Lopez, a source confirmed to MLB.com. Minor League prospects from the Phillies have been agreed upon, and Lopez is believed to be in Philadelphia taking his physical.
Once the physical is passed, an announcement could come shortly.
And once that happens, the Phillies will feel much better about their eighth-inning relief situation, which was a problem last season. Lopez, 29, went 6-3 with a 2.17 ERA and 10 saves in 64 games last season. He became Houston’s closer following the trade of Brett Myers to the Chicago White Sox and Francisco Cordero’s ineffectiveness.
Lopez posted the lowest walks-per-innings ration among National League relievers (1.09) last season. It was not a one-year thing, either. He set the franchise record among relievers in 2010, when he issued just five walks in 67 innings.
He faced 78 batters last season before he issued his first walk.
Lopez is 13-13 with a 3.14 ERA in 213 career appearances.
Not only are the Phillies getting a pitcher with late-inning experience and somebody who can throw strikes and induce ground balls (his 2.34 groundball-to-flyball ratio ranked 21st out of 187 qualifying relievers last season), they get somebody under their control for three more seasons.
Lopez is salary arbitration eligible for the first time this year, meaning he cannot become a free agent until after the 2015 season.
CSNPhilly.com had the first report about the impending trade.