Sunday, July 19, 2009

Brewers Acquire Felipe Lopez; Roster Move Coming

In a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Milwaukee Brewers have acquired second baseman Felipe Lopez for a pair of minor leaguers. The Brewers immediately shore up a need by trading for Lopez. He plays second base, and is going to be used as a leadoff hitter. The leadoff spot has been a revolving door since Rickie Weeks went down quite some time ago. Whenever Jason Kendall is used to bat leadoff, the need is there.

Lopez, 29, batted leadoff for the Diamondbacks while posting a .301/.364/.412/.776 line in 345 at bats. In return, the Diamondbacks received outfielder Cole Gillespie and pitcher Roque Mercedes. Gillespie, 25, was blocked in Milwaukee and wouldn't likely have made the major leagues this year. He posted a dissapointing .242/.332/.424/.756 line in just under 250 AB's. Mercedes, 22, has the potential to be a good pitcher for the Diamondbacks in the future. He couples a high strikeout rate with a reasonably low walk total. He is only in A ball and is likely pretty far away for any major league impact.

The interesting thing about this trade could be what happens in the offseason. Lopez has a chance of being a type B free agent, which could net the Crew and compensation pick after the first round along with that teams 2nd or 3rd round pick. This is only if the Brewers decide not to resign Lopez. With Craig Counsell at the tail end of his career, this could be the Brewers utility man of the future. Second base does belong to Rickie Weeks in the future, but Lopez could be a valuable asset in the future. He is a switch hitter who can play three infield positions. There has to be room on this club somewhere for him.

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