We have a trade! No the Cubs have not traded Alfonso Soriano. No the Cubs did not send Kosuke Fukudome packing. Instead they added to their team. The Cubs have traded for veteran swingman Rodrigo Lopez of the Atlanta Braves. Lopez, who had been in Triple A with the Braves organization this season, will join the Cubs on Friday. In exchange, the Cubs have sent a minor league pitcher to Atlanta.
In a trade that came out of no where, Lopez gives the Cubs added pitching depth to an already depleted pitching staff. The 35 year old right handed pitcher is capable of pitching out of the bullpen or the starting rotation. The Cubs have yet to define Lopez’s role with the team, all that is know is that Lopez will join the team tomorrow.
While this is by no means a major trade, this trade figures to have an impact on the Cubs. For the sole purpose of adding insurance and depth to a pitching staff that has been riddled with injuries. Having a pitcher like Lopez on the staff gives the Cubs an option to use him as either a starting pitcher or relief pitcher. Right now at least, it would appear that Lopez will go to the bullpen. Though, the Cubs have not ruled out the possibility that Lopez could go in the rotation. I would imagine that Lopez will take the place of Justin Berg on the 25 man roster, after Berg could not throw a strike in his latest appearance out of the bullpen.
As for who the Cubs gave up, they sent minor league pitcher Ryan Buchter to the Braves. In 16 game with Daytona and Tennessee, Buchter consummated an ERA of 3.38. Even though the fate of prospects are not determined until they reach the major leagues, the Cubs are not giving up a top prospect in the form of Buchter. In fact, Buchter was drafted in 2005 and the fact that it took him until 2010 to reach class double A is a good indicator that the Cubs are not giving a top–or even mid level–prospect.
Lopez was 6-1 with an ERA of 2.59 with the Triple A ffiliate of the Atlanta Braves this season. Through 227 career appearances, Lopez has an ERA of 4.85.