Even with all the millions of dollars the San Francisco Giants have spent on Tim Lincecum, Hunter Pence and Tim Hudson this offseason, there was still a phenomenally important piece the team needed to secure in order to contend in the NL West.
You can all breath now, Giants fans. The team will bring back lefty reliever Javier Lopez on a three-year contract, according to Bay Area Sports Guy.
The Giants won two World Series titles with their out-of-this-world pitching, and Lopez’s head was right there on the Mount Rushmore of San Francisco hurlers. Through four seasons in San Francisco, Lopez has held his opponents to a batting average of .198 while his WHIP has equated to an astounding 1.81. The more amazing statistic? In 605 batters faced as a Giant, Lopez has allowed just two home runs and 37 earned.
His postseason numbers are just as impressive. He holds a 1.04 ERA over 8.2 innings and has allowed just one hit and one earned run in his postseason career as a Giant. He is without a doubt a top five most-important piece to this Giants team over the past four seasons. The organization and its fans should be thrilled he is returning to the black and orange.
There’s no way the Giants could contend for a NL West title without Lopez. The team was clear that its first priorities this offseason were to make sure its rotation was set and that Pence would be returning, but GM Brian Sabean knew that Lopez was one his biggest tasks. Many teams were more than likely wooing Lopez with huge contracts, yet he decided to return to the City by the Bay.
This offseason is turning out to be a revered one thus far for San Francisco. One piece remains: a fifth starter. Either way, a deep sigh of relief can be taken now that Lopez is back with the Giants.