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Phillies “in serious talks” with Astros for Wilton Lopez

Nov 28, 2012, 11:10 AM EDT

Houston Astros v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Phillies are “in serious talks” with the Astros for right-hander Wilton Lopez, who would take over as the primary setup man in front of closer Jonathan Papelbon.

Lopez’s price tag won’t be cheap, as he’s thrown 204 innings with a 2.64 ERA during the past three seasons, remains bargain-priced entering his first year of arbitration eligibility at age 29, and is under team control through 2015.

Lopez saved 10 games after taking over for Brett Myers as the Astros’ closer down the stretch and posted a fantastic 54/8 K/BB ratio in 66 innings overall this year while allowing just four homers in 260 plate appearances. His fastball averaged 92.4 miles per hour and he was among the league leaders in ground-ball percentage.

No word yet on what the Astros would get in return, but it’s a safe bet they’re targeting prospects rather than big leaguers.

  1. illcomm - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    nice add but we still need a lefty

  2. stex52 - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Oh great. HEY ASTROS!!! At some point you have to stop wheeling and dealing and you have to leave a few of your people who actually have a WAR above zero on the roster.

    If they don’t get someone who can play MLB in 2013, I am against this. You can talk rebuild all you want. But I would like to have the stomach to watch a few more games in 2013 than I did in 2012.

  3. ryanrockzzz - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Finally RAJ starts a recent offseason going for a move that makes sense. If the bullpen was better in the first half of last season, this team would have been in the Playoffs, considering the bullpen blew about 10-12 games during a rough stretch.

    Instead of moving the A.L, i’m voting the Astros just become the Phillies new AAA affiliate since all they do is trade their more established players for our low level minor leaguers.

  4. dboydc - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    I agree I am still upset with the Pence trade as well, eventually you have to stop trading and start focusing in winning. Next year is going to be a long one.

  5. greatdayfortwo - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:39 AM

    The Mariners have got to be very excited about Houston’s lack of effort to put a competitive team on the field in 2013. They might not be the Worst in the West for the first time in several years!

  6. phillyphreak - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    I think it’s appropriate to point out that this is still very early in the Luhnow run Astros regime. It’s going to take a few years to do what they think needs to be done……

    • stex52 - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:10 PM

      Right at this moment I really don’t care about 2016. They’d better think about having a team that makes it worthwhile for people to show up in 2013. They are selling a product.

      • phillyphreak - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:16 PM

        They made it clear that it was a complete rebuild. And switching leagues. Yea patience is needed. Go see the team develop

      • apmn - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:18 PM

        But stex52…they have NEW UNIFORMS!

      • stex52 - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:49 PM

        Not interested. They trailed the league in ERA. They were at the bottom in OPS. They led for most of the season in errors. In two games out of five they weren’t even in it after the 4th.

        Too much competition for my entertainment dollar. Besides, there’s a minor league team down the street.

      • apmn - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:13 PM

        The Owls are always worth watching, and Reckling is a sweet spot to be on a spring afternoon.

      • stex52 - Nov 28, 2012 at 3:49 PM

        As a matter of fact, I’m an alumnus. I will be there for some games. Hopefully, so will Lance Berkman.

  7. andyreidisthegoat - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    It fills a need but it also serves as a nice distraction to the chooch debacle. amaro knows when to pull a deal to get the media back on the good side of the phils. phils still have lots of holes. definitely on the decline.

  8. hk62 - Nov 28, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    What if the price is Ruf, one for one – you Philly fans still in favor? Think its unrealistic? Ed Wade isn’t there anymore folks. And dboydc – losing Pence was hard, but that trade is going to put 4 MLB players on the field by 2015.

    The thing about Wilton Lopez (who is no question great and for whom Luhnow better get a great return if he’s dealt) – is that when he isn’t “on” in regard to where that great movement is ending up in regard to the strike zone – he reminds me a lot of BAL’s closer…there are a few yet to pitch above AA ball guys in the HOU system that can hit 96+ on a consistent basis; and in the AL West, only the A’s have kids manning a lot of positions and kids can hit 96+ gas, the over 30 crowd, not so much – JL is a very smart baseball guy, I trust him, trading W Lopez isn’t a salary relief need so the return has to extract pain – its that simple.

    • phillyphreak - Nov 28, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      Ruf is wonderfully overrated by a set of Phillies fans.

  9. kelshannon19 - Nov 28, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    I believe he’s referring to the Sugar Land Skeeters…I still love my Stros though

  10. ryanrockzzz - Nov 28, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    It’s reported Valle is the player going back to the Astros…and they can have him. Ruf is an unknown at this point.

  11. dkphilly1122 - Nov 28, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Ruf is overrated?? An Unknown?? According to who?? Astro fans?? He would be there starting first baseman and be better than ANYONE on there roster, not that that says a ton, but he might be the Phillies clean up hitter this year to break the Leftys up…. Yeah he hasn’t been in the majors a ton yet to “prove himself”, but I think he showed people what he can do in triple A and the little bit with the Phillies for a guy who wasn’t suppose to be that good. I would definitely put him above the great suppose prospect Dom Brown any day. Talk about overrated, Dom Brown is overrated for sure.

  12. phillyfanmatt - Nov 28, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Ruff never played in triple A last year. Just in double A before being called up. While he has an upside he is not proven yet. He will not be the phillies cleanup hitter this year that is a pipe dream.

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