MLB Free Agency: Rodrigo Lopez Gets Chance With Philadelphia Phillies

By David A. Cattai
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

An 11-year veteran is making his way to Spring Training in a couple of weeks to attempt to make a MLB ball club for 2013.

The Philadelphia Phillies have reached out to 37-year old veteran Rodrigo Lopez for his services. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has given Lopez as minor-league contract as well as an invitation to Clearwater, Florida for Spring Training.

The Tlalnepantla, Mexico native has played for six major-league clubs throughout his career. Lopez was originally signed by the San Diego Padres as a pitcher out of the Mexican League in 1995. He made his major-league debut as a 24-year old in April of 2000.

After the 2001 season, Lopez became a free agent and spent time with the Baltimore Orioles organization. In five seasons with Baltimore, Lopez experienced production from both sides of the spectrum.

The MLB witnessed the best four seasons of Lopez’s career from ages 26 through 29, which were from 2002-2005. In that time, Lopez went 51-40 with a 4.42 ERA in 723.2 innings pitched over 123 starts. That short time frame in Baltimore was the highlight of Lopez’s career. According to Baseball-Reference, over a span of a 162-game season in that time period, Lopez averaged out 32 starts and had a record of 15-12 while pitching 203 innings. His career quickly came back to earth when he lost 18 games in 2006, which was his final season in Baltimore.

Ever since that season, Lopez has bounced around to a different ball club every year. He has pitched in all types of weather from the high-altitude cold air in Colorado, the sun-filled skies of Arizona, all the way to the windy city of Chicago. Since 2006, Lopez has gone 21-28 with an average ERA of 4.81. He recently pitched two seasons as a member of the Chicago Cubs organization, where he split time between Triple-A and the MLB.

Now Lopez finds himself looking for redemption and what could end up being a final chance of playing in the major-leagues. Look for Lopez to have his mindset on impressing the Phillies organization and maybe get a chance to pitch for Philadelphia at some point in 2013.

David A. Cattai is a featured journalist with Rant Sports. Follow me on Twitter (@DCattaiSports), Facebook, and Google+ for sports updates.

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