Sunday, July 19, 2009

Brewers trade for second baseman

Edit: Gamel sent back to AAA

The most interesting part of the below article is the comment that Lopez will join the team in Pittsburgh tomorrow and a corresponding roster move will be announced.

Here's hoping that the only thing to announce is sending Mat Gamel back to the minors so he can get regular playing time and at-bats. He took another strikeout looking today and it sure seems the limited time at the plate has shaken his confidence and affected his "eye."

Of course, it could be another trade - presumably it would be J.J. Hardy or Alcides Escobar. However, Doug Melvin has said that neither of these guys are options for any other club - he won't even consider getting rid of them - but of course, you never know.

As for Lopez, he's having the best half-season of his career and he gives us a legitimate leadoff hitter, which we've been desperate for since Rickie Weeks got injured - if batting Jason Kendall leadoff isn't a desperate cry for help, I don't know what is.

The lack of a viable leadoff guy has really been bothering Ken Macha - he hates making outs on the bases, so this is an obvious move for the Brewers.

He's a switch hitter, which is something we haven't seen in Milwaukee in a long time and his on-base percentage is the second highest in the NL for leadoff hitters.

Brewers make deal for infielder Lopez

Send two Minor Leaguers to D-backs for veteran

07/19/09 6:49 PM ET

The Brewers bolstered their defense and added to their offense Sunday, acquiring infielder Felipe Lopez from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Minor League outfielder Cole Gillespie and right-handed pitcher Roque Mercedes.

Lopez is expected to join the team Monday in Pittsburgh. A corresponding roster move will be announced.

"Felipe is an accomplished veteran player who gives us versatility at three infield positions," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. "He has been a very productive player at the top of the order with respect to both batting average and on-base percentage."

Lopez, 29, is hitting .301 with six home runs, 25 RBIs and six stolen bases in 85 games with the D-backs this season. He has made 79 starts at second base, one at designated hitter, and is among the National League leaders with a .372 on-base-percentage.

Lopez was excited by the prospects of joining a contender in Milwaukee.

"That's always good, that's always exciting," Lopez said. "It's tough leaving the guys here because I spent a lot of time with the young guys and it's tough leaving them, but at the same time I'm excited for the opportunity."

A career .266 hitter, Lopez has hit 77 home runs with 359 RBIs and 115 stolen bases in 958 games during nine seasons with Toronto (2001-02), Cincinnati (2003-06), Washington (2006-08), St. Louis (2008) and Arizona (2009). He was an All-Star in 2005 when he hit .291 with 23 home runs, 85 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 148 games with the Reds. He earned the Silver Slugger Award at shortstop that season.

Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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