Saturday, November 16, 2013

LOOGY Watch: Javier Lopez

The early bullpen talk has revolved around late-inning guys and potential closer options.  Yesterday we got our first strong LOOGY target when Andy McCullough reported that there is the always encouraging "mutual interest" between the Yankees and free agent lefty Javier Lopez.  While it's nothing certain, this is a strong indication that the team will not pursue bringing Boone Logan back.

Lopez, 36, is an absolutely devastating LOOGY, one of the best in baseball.  He held left-handed hitters to a measly .156/.208/.222 batting line (.197 wOBA) in 26.1 IP in 2013 and for his career lefties are hitting just .209/.294/.301 with a 21.4% K rate against him.  Similar to Clay Rapada a few years back, Lopez works from an awkward arm angle and features a fastball/slider combination that has its strength based in the delivery more than the velocity.

Lopez's agent said that Lopez wants to play for a contender and "wants the innings to be meaningful." He would have a great chance for both of those things assuming the top lefty role in the Yankee 'pen.  For now it sounds like the 2 sides are going to table talks until the Yankees address some of their other more pressing needs, but Lopez would definitely be a great fit on a 1-year deal.

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