5 Total Updates since November 28, 2012
6 months ago Article 102 comments
Wilton Lopez to the Philadelphia Phillies for two prospects looks dead, which may not be such a bad thing.
6 months ago Update 31 comments
There's not much new news on the possible Wilton Lopez trade this morning, outside of a few Ken Rosenthal tweets:
Let me say that the first source is probably Jeff Luhnow. Well, it would be if Luhnow and the Astros front office ever leaked anything. Which they don't. But, it is a good negotiating ploy on Houston's part to act like things are open again, maybe to force Philly to give up a higher price.
As for the second tweet, we finally get a prospect name to talk about. It's not exactly inspiring, but could be a Luhnow-esque choice. Right-hander Tyler Cloyd is a 25-year old who made his MLB debut this season, starting six games for the Phillies. Cloyd had a 4.91 ERA in 33 innings with 30 strikeouts and seven walks. He also allowed eight home runs, which is a huge number for so few starts.
Of course, that could be because of his scouting reports, here courtesy of John Sickels:
He can top out at 92 on his best days, but usually works in the 86-89 range. Scouts rate his slider and changeup as merely adequate, but the combination of the three pitches has worked well in the minors since he throws strikes and locates his pitches well. If his location is off, he usually misses high, which can result in excessive home runs.
There you go. Someone called Cloyd J.A. Happ 2.0 on Twitter, which is certainly not encouraging. But, Cloyd could fit the Kyle Weiland part of this trade, with a more significant piece coming next. Is that Tommy Joseph? Probably not. If it's Sebastian Valle and Cloyd for Lopez, it'd be a little disappointing haul, but still pretty good for a reliever. Maybe we just got spoiled by the Melancon trade.
6 months ago Update 0 comments
Amid all the easy Astro jokes going on right now (another trade with Philly? There's actually a player left in Houston to be traded? etc., etc.), Jeff Sullivan over at FanGraphs writes an article in praise of one Wilton Lopez.
At least, he does after inventing the game Spot the Half-Decent Astro. That hurts, Jeff. That just hurts.
Anyways, what Sullivan basically points out is what we've known about Lopez. He's a closer who relies on the ground ball quite a bit without a ton of strikeouts. It's not unusual, Jim Johnson did the same thing for a playoff-bound Orioles team this year. It's just not the typical profile of a closer.
In terms of combined walk and groundball rates, he’s been the most extreme reliever in baseball, just ahead of Jim Johnson, who’s blossomed with the Orioles. Lopez has thrown better than two-thirds of his pitches for strikes over this span, and he’s thrown an awful lot of two-seam fastballs. He throws four pitches in all, and three of them go for a ton of strikes, and three of them generate grounders. Like Johnson, Lopez hasn’t been a strikeout machine. Like Johnson, Lopez hasn’t had to be.
You need to go to the site to check out the leaderboard and see what kind of company Lopez is keeping (and what Sullivan's methodology was in creating the list. But, it does show how much value Lopez may have and that his return may be higher than typically anticipated for a closer on a terrible team.
6 months ago Update 2 comments
Is it all that surprising that his health is one of the things holding this potential trade of Lopez to Philadelphia?
The #phillies deal for Wilton Lopez is pending physical. Two players going to Houston.— Jason A. Churchill (@ProspectInsider) November 28, 2012
This Wilton Lopez physical with Philly isn't a slam dunk. Some clubs have been scared off by his medicals in the recent past.— Kiley McDaniel (@kileymcd) November 28, 2012
We'll see where this leads, but remember that teams pretty much have control on whether to pass or fail someone on a physical. This is all part of the negotiations, as Ruben Amaro tries to out-ninja Jeff Luhnow. And we all know that can't be done. It's not physically possible.
6 months ago Update 5 comments
According to reports by Todd Zolecki and Prospect Insider, the Astros and Phillies have agreed upon the players coming back to Houston, and they are multiple. What's interesting is that Philly is giving up two guys who are near-ML ready for a guy they view as a setup man, not a closer.
That could depress the return the Astros receive, even if Lopez does have surplus value.
Who could the prospects be? Well, speculation has been running rampant. The Phillies have two pitchers on John Sickels' preliminarly Top 50 list for 2013 in Jesse Biddle and Trevor May. Biddle is a lefty who clocked in at 24th on Sickels' list while May is a right-hander at 32.
Interestingly, no Phillies hitting prospect made Sickels' Top 50 preliminary list for 2013. Does that mean it will be easier for Houston to add a hitter from Philly's system?
So, start throwing around more names...the two catching prospects are up there, but are there any outfielders worth trading for?