Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon loves to move his players around, both in the lineup and on the field, so with that kind of versatility in mind, the Rays signed veteran infielder Felipe Lopez to a minor-league contract and will invite him to the team’s spring training.
Lopez, 31, has primarily played shortstop in his career, but can play second or third base and has experience both in the outfield and playing first base. The switch-hitter has a career .266 BA along with 88 homeruns and 428 RBI’s. His best season came in 2005 while he was with the Cincinnati Reds. Lopez hit 23 homeruns and drove in 85 runs, batting .291 while winning a Silver Slugger award and being named an All-Star.
If Lopez makes the final Rays roster, ESPN reports that he will earn $1 million in salary with the chance to earn another $1 million in incentives.
Lopez saw his production drop off last year, finishing the season with a .233 batting average while splitting time with both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox. However, in 2009 while splitting time between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Milwaukee Brewers, Lopez hit .310, 9 homeruns and 57 runs in 680 at bats.