The Philadelphia Phillies have finally started to address some of their team's issues. According to CBSSports.com writer John Heyman via Twitter, "Phillies have an agreement to acquire reliever Wilton Lopez from the Astros for minor leaguers. Finalizing details."
This is a great move for the Phillies and exactly what they need to do to complete a consistent bridge to closer Jonathan Papelbon. Lopez will also be under Phillies' control until 2015 and will turn 30 in mid-July.
In 2012, Lopez made $515,000, he will be due a relatively small raise through the arbitration process, somewhere around the $1 million range, making his salary somewhere between $1.3-1.5 million for 2013. That's a steal considering what they will pay Papelbon in 2013 ($13 million).
Wilton has been in the major leagues since 2009, has pitched 223.1 innings and has accumulated a career 3.14 ERA in that time.
Since 2010, he has not posted an ERA over 2.96 and had the best season of his career in 2012, posting a 2.17 ERA in 66.1 innings.
Also in 2012, his WAR was an impressive 2.2 compared to Papelbon's WAR, which was 1.6. Lopez also only gave up four home runs in all of 2012. Papelbon gave up eight in just 3.2 more innings' pitches.
One of his most impressive statistics is his strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2012, 54/8, walking just 1.1 batters per nine innings pitched. Walks killed the Phillies bullpen last season, especially in the eighth inning.
The players heading to Houston have still not been made public, but we will keep you up to date as the trade becomes finalized.