The Orioles trade closer Jorge Lopez to the Twins

The Orioles trade closer Jorge Lopez to the Twins

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10:11 a.m. The Twins and Orioles announced the trade.

9:36 a.m. The Twins and Orioles are in agreement on a trade that sends the All-Star. George Lopez From Baltimore to Minnesota, As first reported Andy Kostka of the Baltimore Sun. The Twins are sending up a left-handed pitching prospect. Cade PovichRight-handed Yenier Kano And a pair of shutout prospects in return for Baltimore, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand Reports. Right hand drive John Nunez and left Juan Rojas There are two other names in the agreement Tweets ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Lopez, 29, is thrilled. Amazing changes in Major League Baseball This offseason, he has gone from being in danger of losing his roster spot in Baltimore to a first-time All-Star who has joined the ranks of the game’s elite relievers. The former second-round pick and top prospect never really took off as a starting pitcher, but he excelled after being moved to the bullpen late last season. So far in 2022, Lopez’s 48 innings with a 1.68 ERA, 27.6% strikeout rate, 8.7% walk rate and a whopping 60% ground-ball rate rank fifth in baseball among MLB relievers.

It’s certainly a short sample, but Lopez’s move to the ‘pen last August served as a sign to break through. He started backing up his sinker over four innings, saw both his pitch and velocity make a huge jump, and went 8 1/3 innings with just two runs, a 10-to-2 K/B ratio and a 66.7 % groundout rate. Dating back to the bullpen last year, Lopez had a 1.75 ERA, 27.9% strikeout rate, 8.3% walk rate, 61% grounder rate and 98 mph average speed on his sinker.

The Twins are clearly confident in his ability to sustain this newfound production, and his appeal is that Lopez is under full control through the 2024 season. He’s making a very reasonable $1.5MM this year, too, so he won’t impact the 2022 payroll much and won’t break the bank in 2023 or 2024.

Lopez gives the Twins a power-packed closer to pair with the Flames starter John Duran And actually breaking Griffin Jacks On the back of an otherwise awful bullpen. Like Duran and Jax, Lopez gives manager Rocco Baldilli the flexibility of knowing he can cover more than one inning if needed. In 11 of Lopez’s 44 games this season, he has recorded at least four hits.

More to come.



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