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Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Does Jose Lopez deserve another shot?

The Mariners already declined their $5 million option on Jose Lopez for next season. Now it seems they're going to non-tender him, too, essentially making him a free agent.

Prior to this latest news, Geoff Baker detailed the Mariners' thinking about Lopez ...
Well, yeah. I probably would.

In 2008 and '09, Lopez was worth roughly $10 million ... in each season. Granted, those two seasons were sandwiched by 2007 and 2010, in which he was worth very little. If he's physically capable, though, wouldn't we expect him to be worth at least $5 million in 2011?

You can't really blame the Mariners for letting Lopez go. They're coming off a terrible season and Lopez didn't help. They've watched him, over the last two seasons, draw the grand total of 47 walks and reach base precisely 28.7 percent of the time. They're probably just tired of watching him. It's only natural.

Lopez will bounce back, though, won't he? His contact rate and his line-drive percentage and his ground-ball percentage and all the rest of them were right in line with the rest of his career. Well, almost all the rest of them. His home runs per fly ball percentage was down significantly from the previous two seasons. Was he weaker in 2010? Or just unluckier?

I don't know. I suspect that Lopez can be had this winter for a lot less than $5 million. He won't be a star, and probably won't be the comeback player of the year or anything. But he could be a solid pickup for a team that's desperate for a cheap third baseman who can't really get on base or a cheap second baseman who can't really play second base.