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Rockies acquire reliever Wilton Lopez from Astros

Dec 4, 2012, 11:14 PM EDT

Wilton Lopez Getty Images

As the Denver Post’s Troy Renck first reported, the Rockies have acquired reliever Wilton Lopez from the Astros for right-handers Alex White and Alex Gillingham.

Lopez was nearly traded to the Phillies for right-hander Tyler Cloyd and catcher Sebastian Valle last week, but the deal fell apart, reportedly because the Phillies’ physical brought up red flags. Tonight’s deal is official, suggesting that he passed a physical with the Rockies.

Lopez went 6-3 with 10 saves and a 2.17 ERA in 66 1/3 innings for the Astros last season. He’s pitched 60 innings with a sub-3.00 ERA each of the last three years. Possessing some of the best command of any reliever in the league, he’ll fit in nicely in front of Rafael Betancourt in the Rockies pen.

White was one of the two top prospects the Rockies got from the Indians for Ubaldo Jimenez in 2011, but he’s been a disappointment since. He went 2-9 with a 5.51 ERA and a 64/51 K/BB ratio in 98 innings for the Rockies last season. Getting out of Coors Field should help him, though his ceiling no longer seems as high as it appeared a couple of years ago. He’ll be a strong candidate to claim a spot in Houston’s rotation next spring.

The 23-year-old Gillingham, a 2011 11th-round pick, was 6-8 with a 3.66 ERA and an 83/28 K/BB ratio in 123 innings for low-A Asheville last season.

  1. kelshannon19 - Dec 4, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    5-14 huh? Yep, Frazier will fit right in with the Stros.

  2. jeffa43 - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    All along I have been saying… 2014… We are going to shock some people..

    I had Lopez in those thoughts, and Deshais was calling the new good times… Really getting hard to stay positive here.
    How could you let Deshais go? …. The Cubs!

    Locked in Hell,

    Astro fan

  3. stex52 - Dec 5, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    And the race to the bottom continues! What can I say, guys? I wouldn’t be making you mad with my negative stuff if I wasn’t so despairing myself.

    You know, I was there when the Dome opened in 1965 for the first game with the Yankees. I was there for Scott’s no-hitter in 86. I was there when they closed the Dome down. I’ve been with this team all the way.

    And this is by far the worst I have ever seen, or ever hope to see.

    • paperlions - Dec 5, 2012 at 8:26 AM

      Stay strong stex. White had good stuff and the Rockies are getting a reputation for screwing up pitchers….they drafted some fantastic talents, and screwed them up almost immediately by trying to completely change the way they pitch. If the Astros turned a reliever into any kind of young starter (even a #5), that is a step up.

      • stex52 - Dec 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM

        Do my best. Luhnow certainly thinks he’s a genius. It would be nice to see him start proving it.

      • paperlions - Dec 5, 2012 at 8:42 AM

        Remember how far they have to go…the organization was a shambles, from the ML roster throughout the entire minor league system. It isn’t going to be an over-night fix….especially with the new CBA rules that severely limit spending on the draft and international amateurs.

      • stex52 - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:16 AM

        Here’s the problem, although I haven’t been making any friends by saying it. The iconic play of 2011 was the bunt where the Astros made three errors and the runner scored from first (I even blanked from my mind the opposing team. I think it was the Cards). If the best they can offer me is a couple more years of flailing futility and games that are already decided by the 4th inning, I’m taking my entertainment dollar elsewhere. I’m a Rice alumnus, and there is a new independent minor league team in Sugarland that I can see for a fraction of the price. Or I will just pick up the Cards and the Cubs on cable. Maybe I’ll check back about 2015.

        Not too happy about it, but I’m not going to reward incompetence, either. I don’t live in Pittsburgh. (Sorry, Pirates Fans.)

      • paperlions - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:26 AM

        I understand. The fact is that if a team wants to win, there is no reason to try to win 70 games when trading a couple of players can increase the chance that you win 90 games down the road. A prolonged streak of below-averageness doesn’t sell tickets either.

  4. jeffa43 - Dec 5, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    We have become a AAA team for the majors…

    Develop a good player and trade them for unprovens with potential.

    A lot of good minor leaguers can’t make the transformation, so we are really giving away a good solid major leaguer to gamble on someone who may not make it.

    Losing Lopez does not help our young starters pick up a win at the end of a game… Speaking for those 1 in 4 games where a pitcher leaves the game with a lead.

    Who you going to hand the ball to right now? I know I am splitting hairs with issues in every part of the Stros game, but let’s say Harrell goes 7 strong, let’s be content with that and accept a loss?

    That is what the front office is saying….. 107 losses is ok. In fact I figured it out, Deshais was truthful, and the Stros front office frowns upon that.

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