M’s trade Jose Lopez to Rockies for minor league pitcher

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Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik is widely regarded as one of the smartest and most forward-thinking front office executives in all of baseball.  Things didn’t work out in 2010, when the M’s finished with a hideous 61-101 record, but the man they call “Jack Z” is again earning his reputation this winter.

According to Shannon Drayer of Seattle’s 710 ESPN, the Mariners have dealt infielder Jose Lopez to the Rockies for minor league pitcher Chaz Roe.

Roe posted an ugly 5.98 ERA and 1.67 WHIP this year at the Triple-A level and is far from a top prospect, but the M’s had planned on non-tendering Lopez before Thursday night’s deadline and it’s absolutely incredible that Jack Z was able to find a trade partner with just hours to go.

Lopez is likely to see regular action at second base next season in Colorado.  He hit just .239/.270/.339 over 593 at-bats in 2010, but he does have a decent power stroke and should be able to let that shine at Coors Field.  Granted, he will cut into the development of young Colorado two-bagger Eric Young Jr.

Zack Wheeler headed to IL due to shoulder fatigue

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Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler will be placed on the 10-day injured list due to fatigue in his right shoulder, Newsday’s Tim Healey reports. The roster move is retroactive to July 12. Steven Matz will open up a two-game series in Minnesota, starting in Wheeler’s place on Tuesday.

As Healey notes, the soonest Wheeler can return is July 23, which would give him at most two starts ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. Wheeler has frequently been brought up in trade conversations as he can become a free agent after the season and the 42-51 Mets have been freefalling.

Wheeler, 29, owns a 4.69 ERA with 130 strikeouts and 34 walks across 119 innings of work this season.