Word broke earlier from the Denver Posts’ Troy Renck via twitter that the Rockies were on the verge of acquiring the Astros 2012 Setup Man/Closer, Wilton Lopez. Lopez was nearly traded just last week to the Phillies for SP Tyler Cloyd and C Sebastian Valle but the deal fell through when the Phillies doctors failed Lopez’s arm/elbow during his physical. It was only a matter of time before Lopez was dealt again, although the Rockies were a bit of a surprise team.
Wilton Lopez (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)
The Astros will receive SP Alex White and SP Alex Gillingham in exchange for Lopez and a player to be named later or cash. Also per Troy Renck, the Rockies have signed off on Lopez’s medicals and finalized this deal. There will be no cancellation of this trade like the one with the Phillies.
White, (24 yrs old 6’3″ 215lbs), was one of the players the Rockies received, along with Drew Pomeranz, in the trade that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland in 2011. White was once a top prospect in MLB being ranked by Baseball America as the 65th and 47th rated prospects in MLB during the 2010 and 2011 seasons respectively. He struggled a bit in his first full season this past year posting a 2-9 record with a 5.51 ERA over 23 games, 20 starts for the Rockies. Some still view him as a starter going forward while others see his potential in the bullpen. We’ll see where the Astros slot him this year.
As for Alex Gillingham, (23 yrs old 6’3″ 200 lb) he was an 11th round pick of the Rockies in the 2011 MLB Draft. He pitched well last year for Low A Asheville, posting a 6-8 record with a 3.66 ERA stretched across 19 starts. He will likely report to High A Lancaster for the Astros this year to continue his career.
All in all, a decent enough deal for Wilton Lopez. Lopez has had constant elbow issues that could creep up again whereas White has not pitched well since reaching the majors and Gillingham is too raw to really pinpoint his ceiling at this time. Both pitchers are groundball pitchers who will help keep the ball in play, something Luhnow has been a fan of.