To make room on the 40-man roster, San Francisco waived left-handed reliever Jose Mijares.
Lopez came to the Giants in a July 31st, 2010 trade that sent John Bowker and Joe Martinez to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He helped San Francisco to a World Series title that year and again in 2012.
Not surprisingly, Lopez has become a fan favorite amongst the Giants’ faithful, in addition to being one of the premiere left-handed specialists in all of Major League Baseball.
Lopez posted a 1.83 ERA in 69 appearances in 2013 while holding left-handed hitters to a paltry .156 batting average.
In four seasons in San Francisco, Lopez has pitched 147.1 innings and maintained a 2.26 ERA.
A return for the popular lefty seems like the ideal situation for all sides.
Lopez, 36, was courted by the Washington Nationals – in addition to a few other rumored teams – and according to Henry Schulman at the San Francisco Chronicle, felt tempted by their offer.
“I was getting a lot of influence from family and friends to get back to the D.C. area so it would be easier for them to see me,” Lopez said. “Obviously it was something that was talked about and discussed, not only with my family but friends in area and my agent as well, to gauge if that was the place for me to play.
“I always wanted to play for my hometown team. This was the closest I ever got, but I want to finish as a Giant and I felt this was a better place for me at this time.” [San Francisco Chronicle]
Mijares saw a steady decline in 2013 for the Giants.
The left-hander was acquired by San Francisco on August 6th of 2012 after being placed on waivers by the Kansas City Royals. Mijares registered a 2.55 ERA and seemed to be a promising arm out of the pen moving forward.
April through July saw Mijares post ERAs of 2.57, 1.80, 3.38 and 3.12, respectively. But, in 13 appearances in August he posted a 9.00 ERA and a 5.40 ERA in five September outings.
In total, Mijares pitched 49 innings for the Giants in 2013 and collected a 4.22 ERA, 1.776 WHIP and allowed left-handed hitters to swat the baseball at a .276 clip against him — righties .360.
There is no telling at this point who might replace Mijares in the pen, but trying to upgrade must be on the Giants’ agenda.
Having a healthy Jeremy Affeldt – who signed a 3-year $21 million deal of his own before the 2013 season – will be a step in the right direction.