Javier Lopez’ name came up repeatedly over the past few days and at various points it seemed like a near certainty that the San Francisco Giants would deal the 36 year old left-hander. The team’s asking price was believed to be high even as the deadline rapidly approached and a deal would never appear to be near completion, but perhaps that’s because the Giants didn’t want to move their reliever all along. Lopez will be a free agent at season’s end, but Andrew Baggerly of CSNBayArea.com is reporting that the two sides have already started discussions which could keep Lopez in a Giants uniform a little longer.
Since joining the Giants at the 2010 trading deadline, Lopez has made 212 appearances for the Giants with strong results. He’s 11-3 with 8 saves while posting a 2.23 ERA and 1.215 WHIP in 133.1 IP. He’s allowed just one home run in that stretch.
Lopez is nearing the completion of a two year, $8.5 Million contract that he’d signed with the Giants prior to the 2012 season and that framework might be a good place for extension talks to begin on his next contract. At 36 years of age it seems unlikely that the Giants would give him a deal much longer than two years and while Lopez has been consistent, he’s still primarily a lefty specialist who wouldn’t command top dollar on the open market after the season.
The Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, and Cincinnati Reds were all linked to having interest in Lopez prior to the passing of the trade deadline – though it doesn’t appear that talks reached a stage where those teams made San Francisco any offers.