Today the Chicago Cubs made a move to (theoretically) shore up their bullpen/rotation, acquiring swingman Rodrigo Lopez from the Braves for minor league pitcher Ryan Buchter according to various reports.
Lopez, 35, started 33 games for the Diamondbacks last year, compiling a humble 5.00 ERA in the process. He’s been pitching in AAA this year, and has a 2.59 ERA in 59 innings over nine starts. He had a moderately good season back in 2007, but hasn’t really done anything of note since. He’s like a slightly better, younger Ramon Ortiz.
Lopez will join the Cubs tomorrow, and the Cubs will option Justin Berg to AAA Iowa to free up a spot. The Cubs will have to bump another pitcher on Saturday (probably Casey Coleman or Scott Maine) when Randy Wells returns.
Lopez might become a long-man in the pen, or he might step into the rotation, taking Casey Coleman’s next turn in the rotation.
Buchter, 24, is about the kind of pitcher you’d expect to give up in one of these deals. He joined the Cubs organization before the 2009 season after a swap of pitchers with the Nationals, who drafted Buchter in the 33rd round back in 2005. He’s put up decent numbers as a reliever in the Cubs’ system, but has always been a touch old for his level (and, particularly as a kid drafted out of high school, that’s not a good thing). He does strike out a ton of batters, so I would imagine that’s what interested the Braves.