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Twins Acquire Orioles Closer Jorge Lopez


Lopez owns a .229 BABIP this year, but the launch angle against him is absurd at -0.7*. Makes sense as Lopez has generated a crazy high 60% ground ball rate. Walk rate is a bit high, but the K rate is elite. It's interesting because Lopez doesn't generate a huge number of swinging strikes. It makes sense as he's a sinkerball pitcher.

It looks like Lopez has entirely given up on his 4 seamer this year. It'll be interesting to see if his stuff continues to play at the elite level of whether or not MLB hitters will adapt, but for right now, he looks like the real deal.

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51 minutes ago, Loosey said:

Good trade for both teams in my opinion.  Stinks for Orioles fans to sell when the team is finally not awful.  But realistically they weren't going to make the playoffs most likely and if they did would probably be out in wild card round.  Now Orioles may have added a nice rotation piece for their improving team next year and beyond and Twins get what is needed for bullpen now and in future.  

I am guessing there is little to no chance is in the majors next year. He has a ERA of 5.38 in high A, he will be 23 when next season starts and is averaging less than 5 innings per start.

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36 minutes ago, Loosey said:

Dyson was always a reliever, and if I recall the Twins were upset with San Francisco because they thought they may have hid an injury from them before the trade as well.  This is different, a reliever on the upswing, whereas Dyson was known commodity who had likely reached his peak.

Dyson started one game in the majors in 2013 and pitched in 376 total games.

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13 minutes ago, JesusisLord7 said:

I like the move and personally would rather strengthen the bullpen. Povich does have upside but he's not a top 10. With Lopez in the 9th, you have Duran in the 7th or 8 and Jax before Duran. Two areas of opportunity for the Twins now will be helping Pagan get right in early relief because he really does have elite stuff. Second opportunity, if we can get Kenta Maeda healthy, he is nasty in the bullpen. He proved it with the Dodgers. I like this trade simply because we can't give up on this season and we didn't move any tier one prospects. Now if Povich wins the Cy Young some day than I was wrong. 

Plus Cotton, before all of them, who has been a rock solid middle innings reliever since the Rangers moved him to the bullpen last season.

And when/if he returns, Theilbar to matchup against the opposing teams best LHBs in innings 6-8.

Need to get one more reliable arm to get 3 outs in innings 6-8. Short starts don't hurt as much when you can run out reliable relievers for 4 innings a night.

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40 minutes ago, Minny505 said:

I don't completely understand the backup catcher desire. Is the purpose to trade for a catcher you can DFA when Jeffers comes back? Do you DFA Sanchez? I can't imagine them doing either of those things, unless it's trading away a fungible reliever on the 40 man to with 4-6 years of control for some teams backup. I'm good with that.

And if your response is to send down Jeffers, that's a hard "No." He is a really good defensive catcher who can hit. On this site, around June 25th, in a discussion about Jeffers, I said to look at his statcast numbers. They screamed "breakout incoming." It was obvious. Sure enough, within a couple weeks he was one of the Twins's hottest hitters. He's the best hitting catcher and the best defensive catcher on the team.

I just don't know why you would spend resources to get a catcher better than Gary Sanchez so you can DFA Sanchez when Jeffers returns. 

Carry 3 catchers come September? Only if the acquired catcher is a 110 OPS+ or can play OF.

What if you look at it from a different angle, Minny505?

If the Twins were to make a move for a younger backup, perhaps he is someone they believe can share the spot with Jeffers in 2023 and beyond.  What if the Twins Doctors believe the 6-8 weeks quoted for Jeffers return will actually be 8++ weeks?  Is it possible Jeffers doesn't return, or doesn't return until late in the year?  

I also don't understand the belief that Jeffers is a 'really good defensive catcher,' although many/most are of that opinion.  Why do I say that, he has been unable to throw out hardly any baserunners.  Maybe I'm old school, but I believe the most important part of catching are handling the pitchers, blocking balls in the dirt and throwing out runners.  To me, stealing strikes is really as LaTroy says, bad umpiring and hopefully goes away next year with the robo umps.

Anyway, there could be good reasons for the Twins to be interested in upgrading their backup catcher.  Then again, they may like Hamilton and are happy with him for the next X weeks.

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4 minutes ago, Twodogs said:

I'm glad they are trying to get better.  I just hope and pray that they don't get burnt on another one of these reliever trades.  Seems like the Twins have just had some bad luck with these types of guys.  

Everyone has bad luck on trading for relievers. They're volatile over short periods of time.

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2 minutes ago, roger said:

What if you look at it from a different angle, Minny505?

If the Twins were to make a move for a younger backup, perhaps he is someone they believe can share the spot with Jeffers in 2023 and beyond.  What if the Twins Doctors believe the 6-8 weeks quoted for Jeffers return will actually be 8++ weeks?  Is it possible Jeffers doesn't return, or doesn't return until late in the year?  

I also don't understand the belief that Jeffers is a 'really good defensive catcher,' although many/most are of that opinion.  Why do I say that, he has been unable to throw out hardly any baserunners.  No maybe I'm old school, but I believe the most important part of catching are handling the pitchers, blocking balls in the dirt and throwing out runners.  To me, stealing strikes is really as LaTroy says, bad umpiring and hopefully goes away next year with the robo umps.

Anyway, there could be good reasons for the Twins to be interested in upgrading their backup catcher.  Then again, they may like Hamilton and are happy with him for the next X weeks.

All good points on Jeffers's return. The real question is if you are willing to DFA Sanchez if/when Jeffers does return. Sanchez is not a better option than Jeffers as a backup catcher. It's really not even close. 

And you and LaTroy are both right, that catcher framing is bad umping and I personally look forward to the robo-zone.

That said, while the current system is in place, take advantage of that bad umping. The value of getting strikes called just 10% higher than the average rate on a particular pitch location has a crazy domino effect of run prevention. A 2-1 count is one of the most favorable hitter counts in baseball at any level, an educated guess is that a 1-2 count has an OPS about .300 points lower than a 2-1 count on anyone not named Luis Arraez. Get that extra strike eight, 10, 12, times a game and you are crushing the oppositions opportunity to put up crooked numbers. 

I get it, disliking the system. I'm there with you. But as long as it is the system we have in place, and we understand how to manipulate umpires into bad calls and the immense value those bad calls result in, pitch framing will be far and away the most valuable catcher skill and it would be ignorant to not use that to your advantage.

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This should help the cause, assuming he doesn't revert to form. Strange that he failed so miserably as a starter, but the article doesn't say how he did the first time through MLB lineups or whether he's developed nuance and a better repertoire to assist his fast ball. Either way, the cost is expensive, but let's face it: a 40 man roster can only have 40 names on it, so some prospects worth their weight would/will be lost anyway if they're not traded.

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I don't see how Robertson would be considered a better relief option than Lopez. He's a free agent after this year, old, fragile and doesn't have close to the numbers Lopez has had.

Are there some 'small sample size' concerns with Lopez? Maybe, but no more than Robertson who hasn't had a decent season since 2018.

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2 hours ago, AceWrigley said:

MLB Trade Rumors says 2 additional pitching prospects are also being shipped to the O's. Who pays the shipping on this anyway?...

Call me old-school, but I'm big on using the fax machine to save on postage. I hear you can also scan to e-mail these days. 

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51 minutes ago, bean5302 said:

Takes balls for a fan of the worst team in baseball from 2011-2016 who also finished dead last in the weakest division in baseball last year to make that statement. The Orioles are 2.5 GB from the Twins right now. Oh, and they were in the American League Championship series in 2014, meaning they won a few playoff games in the last decade.

No offense meant. The Orioles have a fantastic history. But their recent run, losing 100 games the last four seasons only interrupted by the shortened covid 2020 season, is a far different level than their Earl Weaver, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Mike Flanagan, Boog Powell years. 

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1 minute ago, nicksaviking said:

I don't see how Robertson would be considered a better relief option than Lopez. He's a free agent after this year, old, fragile and hasn't close to the numbers Lopez has had.

Are there some 'small sample size' concerns with Lopez? Maybe, but no more than Robertson who hasn't had a decent season since 2018.

Call me greedy, but I'd make this an "AND" rather than an "OR."

I like that Robertson does have significant closing experience and should be even cheaper, given that it's two months of control.

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1 minute ago, nicksaviking said:

I don't see how Robertson would be considered a better relief option than Lopez. He's a free agent after this year, old, fragile and hasn't close to the numbers Lopez has had.

Are there some 'small sample size' concerns with Lopez? Maybe, but no more than Robertson who hasn't had a decent season since 2018.

?, with that being said I am good with the twins trading another prospect years out to put Robertson in the pen this year and if he is good sign him to a cheap deal next year.

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1 hour ago, Minny505 said:

I don't completely understand the backup catcher desire. Is the purpose to trade for a catcher you can DFA when Jeffers comes back? Do you DFA Sanchez? I can't imagine them doing either of those things, unless it's trading away a fungible reliever on the 40 man to with 4-6 years of control for some teams backup. I'm good with that.

And if your response is to send down Jeffers, that's a hard "No." He is a really good defensive catcher who can hit. On this site, around June 25th, in a discussion about Jeffers, I said to look at his statcast numbers. They screamed "breakout incoming." It was obvious. Sure enough, within a couple weeks he was one of the Twins's hottest hitters. He's the best hitting catcher and the best defensive catcher on the team.

I just don't know why you would spend resources to get a catcher better than Gary Sanchez so you can DFA Sanchez when Jeffers returns. 

Carry 3 catchers come September? Only if the acquired catcher is a 110 OPS+ or can play OF.

Until Jeffers gets back (mid to late Sept.) Catcher is a black hole. The cost should be minimal. We have little to no depth at catcher. Getting a backup would mean we have more depth for next year too.

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2 hours ago, IowaBeancounter said:

I was expecting more experienced players to traded to avoid losing them in the rule 5 draft. I think Povich was drafted in 2021 not 2011.

If he was drafted in 2011, I'm starting to think he won't pan out...

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Absolutely nothing to complain about here. very nice move. Get him for I think 2 more years. Yes other than thisyear he was a 5.00-6.00 ERA guy, but that was primarily as a starter. I do nto knwo his history, but the league is filled with failed starters who were dominant releivers.  maybe beign able to focus on top 2 pitches means he will stay good, if nto elite, over teh next couple years as well.

 

Nice move Falvne... nwo go and get JD MArtinez and Eovaldi

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30 minutes ago, TwinsDr2021 said:

I will add if this trade comes back to haunt the Twins because Povich becomes a good/great starter and the Twins are short starters, it say more about this FO ability to develop starters than this trade.

He's only in A ball. I think you'd be reading too much into that.

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