First reported by Jon Heyman of CBS, Giants left-hander Javier Lopez has been placed on the waiver wire. The Giants will have 48 hours to negotiate a deal with a team for Lopez.
It is almost a guarantee that Lopez will be sent to a playoff bound team. Lopez, who was acquired from Pittsburgh at the 2010 trade deadline, has been stellar during his time in San Francisco, posting a 2.32 ERA. His ability to shutdown powerful left-handed hitters -such as Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in 2010 and Joey Votto and Prince Fielder in 2012 – will intrigue contenders that are seeking a pitcher to serve the role of a lefty specialist, as he has done so beautifully during his time in San Francisco.
Its not as if Lopez is being placed on waivers due to a dip in performance in 2013 (1.99 ERA in 55 appearances), rather just looking at the opportunity to acquire an above average prospect for a pitcher in the final year of his contract.
It would have been tough to keep Lopez after the 2013 campaign, as San Francisco’s top priorities would most likely be re-signing pitcher Tim Lincecum and right-fielder Hunter Pence.
Since this is after the July 31st trading deadline, NL teams will have the first opportunity at getting Lopez. The teams with the worst records will have top priority at landing Lopez, but it will only be worth it for playoff teams or contenders to land Lopez to give a boost to the bullpen.
It is nearly impossible that Lopez is still with the Giants in 48 hours, and it seems like a great move for all parties involved – Lopez will have the opportunity to chase his third ring in four years, whatever team he goes to will get a dominant left-hander, and the Giants will get something in return.
Lopez was an integral part of the San Francisco Giants two championships, and he will never receive the recognition for his part in those two playoff runs. Lopez only gave up one home run in three plus seasons with San Francisco and only gave up a single run in 14 combined playoff appearances in 2010 and 2012.
What was your favorite memory of Lopez?