According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca, the Blue Jays have agreed to minor league contracts with right-hander Wilton Lopez, outfielder Caleb Gindl, and infielder Jake Fox. They all received invites to major league spring training.
Lopez was quietly one of the best relievers in the game from 2010-2012 with the Astros, but he really struggled with the Rockies in 2013 and made just four appearances in the majors this past season. The 31-year-old had a 4.57 ERA and 35/6 K/BB ratio over 43 1/3 innings with the Rockies’ Triple-A affiliate.
Gindl appeared in six games with the Brewers this past season and batted just .227/.310/.354 with eight home runs and 32 RBI over 110 games in Triple-A. The 26-year-old showed some pop and patience in a small sample with the big club in 2013 and could be a fit as a left-handed bench bat.
Fox, 32, hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2011. He split 2014 between the independent Atlantic League, the Mexican League, and the Phillies’ Double-A affiliate. If history is any indication, he’ll hit a bunch of home runs for the Blue Jays in the spring.
When the Rockies acquired right-hander Wilton Lopez from the Astros two offseasons ago he was coming off three consecutive seasons with a sub-3.00 ERA, but he mostly struggled for Colorado last season and now he’s headed back to the minors.
Lopez began this year by allowing eight runs in six innings, including a nifty .514 opponents’ batting average, which convinced the Rockies to demote him to Triple-A at age 30. His last outing consisted of recorded two outs while coughing up six runs on three homers. For some context, Lopez has never allowed more than six home runs in any season before.
Lopez is making $2.2 million this season, so the Rockies are hoping he can get back on track against Pacific Coast League hitters and at least give them some decent middle relief work later in the year.
The Rockies may have the most interesting and unintentionally hilarious roster going into Opening Day. They’ll carry 14 pitchers, including two that are injured (Jhoulys Chacin and Boone Logan, who don’t count against the 25-man limit), as well as two catchers, only five infielders, and six (six!) outfielders.
The rotation will include Jorge De La Rosa, Brett Anderson, Tyler Chatwood, Juan Nicasio, and Franklin Morales. The bullpen will have LaTroy Hawkins, Rex Brothers, Wilton Lopez, Matt Belisle, Adam Ottavino, Chad Bettis, and Tommy Kahnle.
Jordan Pacheco will be the back-up to Wilin Rosario at catcher. Justin Morneau, D.J. LeMahieu, Troy Tulowitzki, and Nolan Arenado make up the starting infield, while Charlie Culberson will be the utility man. The starting outfield will include Carlos Gonzalez, Drew Stubbs, and Michael Cuddyer, while Charlie Blackmon,Corey Dickerson, and Brandon Barnes will be the reserves.