Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Jose Lopez close to signing a deal with Houston, likely won't happen until after the holidays.
It appears Lopez, 28, will head to Houston after the Christmas holiday to take a physical exam. If everything goes well the Astros could be adding a utility infielder to the Spring Training mix before the years out.
Lopez has played with five different teams in nine years at the major league level. He spent seven of those with Seattle. He's batted .262 with a .292 on-base percentage and a .395 slugging percentage. As MLB Trade Rumors pointed out, Lopez has been much better against left handed pitching (.278/.311/.401) than right handed pitching (.255/.285/.393). Defensively he's been average to above average at first, second and third base, and below average at shortstop.
With the Astros essentially set at the infield positions I can only see Lopez in the running as a reserve player. I like Marwin Gonzalez more for the backup infielder role, but Lopez has one thing he lacks experience and a veteran presence. Keep in mind this is anything but a sure thing, yet, we'll have to wait and see what happens after Christmas.
Here's some Twitter goodness on Lopez:
WB = Winter Ball
I'd be shocked if the Jose Lopez deal is anything other than a minor league deal. He is hitting .313/.397 in WB with 5-HR. .444/.545 last 10— Sean Feist (@native_astro) December 23, 2012
José López: Kaboom! mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp…— William Peebles (@BustaPozee) December 23, 2012