|Photo I took off Javier Lopez coming off the mound in 2008|
On Monday, a friend asked what was going on with Javier Lopez. We were tired of trying to figure out what the deal was with Tek and we weren’t holding out hope anything would quickly be resolved with Paps so Javy’s name came up. I started to do some research and then real life got in the way so I was pleasantly surprised to get news on both Papelbon AND Lopez in the same shot.
Before I go on about Lopez, I wanted to point out that Rob Bradford has an interesting take on the Papelbon contract:
But when looking at the first stage of this thing, Papelbon accomplished what he had set out to when first mentioning his payroll progression. He set the standard.
The deal is the largest given to any first-year arbitration eligible pitcher, and is the third-highest agreed to by any first-year arbitration eligible player, behind Ryan Howard ($10 million) and Miguel Cabrera ($7 million).
So when Papelbon speaks, the Red Sox seem to listen. This is something that should make us all very happy. Sox didn’t jump into some crazy, long-term contract, but put it out to Paps that they do value him. So folks can stop worrying that the Red Sox are disrespecting our closer. Yay for putting that behind us.
Now back to Lopez. I spent way too many games in 2008 arguing with seemingly baseball-intelligent people about him. I can’t count how many games I went to where I ended up hearing “Oh no, not LOPEZ!” or “Tito’s putting in Lopez, this game is over” or anything close to either of those. I just have never understood the Lopez hate. And, it seems, neither did the Red Sox. The Sox signed Javier to a one-year contract for $1.35 million. The Sox were so impressed with Lopez that they game him a raise. (Last season he made $840,000.)
In 2008, Javier appeared in 70 games, even winning two of them. In a little more than 59 innings, he gave up 18 runs (16 earned) and struck out 38. Sure he also gave up 53 hits and walked 27 in that same period, but he finished off the year with a 2.43 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and a .245 BAA. Might not be All Star stats, but he was quite solid. It amazes me that people still consider him a detriment to the bullpen. I’m happy Theo sees his worth and signed him up for another year – it’s certainly good for the team.
Now if he can just finish up with a catcher, folks won’t have anything to complain about until the WBC!