The San Diego Padres have made their first move of the offseason, striking a deal with the Atlanta Braves.
In what is the first of, hopefully, many moves made this offseason, the San Diego Padres have traded backup catcher Raffy Lopez to the Atlanta Braves for a player to be named later or cash considerations.
The Padres are currently trying to clear space on the 40-man roster in order to activate injured players Clayton Richard, Franchy Cordero, Dinelson Lamet, and Alex Dickerson from the disabled list. This move leaves San Diego with one more spot to clear before the Friday deadline.
Lopez appeared in 37 games for the Padres, hitting .176 with a .265 on-base percentage in 102 at-bats. He logged three home runs, two doubles, and 13 runs driven in, while striking out 43 times and drawing 13 walks.
With the El Paso Chihuahuas, Lopez played in 50 gams, hitting .261 with nine home runs, 12 doubles, and a .328 on-base percentage.
For Atlanta, the move gives the Braves a veteran catching option after both Kurt Suzuki and Rene Rivera became free agents at the conclusion of the World Series, leaving Atlanta with no catching depth behind Tyler Flowers.
MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell hinted that Lopez was going to be removed from the 40-man roster this week. With Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia on the active roster and the Padres reportedly looking at the free agent market for an established veteran, it was only a matter of time before the Padres moved the 31-year-old backstop. There’s also Austin Allen who will, more than likely, be added to the 40-man roster to ensure protection from the Rule-5 draft.
Lopez has appeared with the Padres, Toronto Blue Jays, Cincinnati Reds, and Chicago Cubs across parts of four major league seasons, hitting .184 with seven home runs and three doubles in 174 career at-bats.
Let the 2018-2019 offseason officially begin for the San Diego Padres!