Earlier today, it sounded like the Padres were going to have Felipe Lopez for the stretch drive. Not anymore.
According to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, Lopez has “vetoed” the Padres’ waiver claim and signed on to play a meaningless week of baseball with the Red Sox, instead.
Lopez, 30, was released by the Cardinals this week after batting just .231/.310/.340 with seven home runs, 36 RBI and eight stolen bases over 376 at-bats. The team initially said he was released in order to play some of their younger players, however Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak later admitted that Lopez repeatedly showed up late to games.
It’s certainly an odd match, especially with the Padres in the middle of a pennant race, but one industry source tells Miller that the Red Sox signed him with the idea of a compensatory draft pick in mind. You see, Lopez currently projects to be a Type B free agent this winter. Should the Red Sox offer him arbitration and see him sign with another team, they would receive a supplemental pick in next year’s draft.
There’s always the chance that Lopez will accept arbitration, given that he doesn’t have the best reputation around the game, but at least the Red Sox have several weeks to mull over the possibility.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.