Trading partners reunited after a year…a 1-for-4 trade turned into a “free trade

How does a trade that gave you four players for one become a trade that gave you four players for nothing a year later? It’s happening in real time in Major League Baseball (MLB). We’re talking about a trade the Baltimore Orioles made with the Minnesota Twins a little over a year ago.

Baltimore traded for a closer in the middle of a fall baseball race…and got four pitchers in return

On August 2 of last year, Baltimore traded closer Jorge Lopez, 30, to Minnesota. At the time of the trade, Baltimore was in the thick of fall baseball, winning 53 games and trailing the third American League (AL) wild card by 1.5 games, but the Orioles made a bold move to move their closer. It was a bold move, to be sure, because they had a strong closer in Felix Batista, 28, the best setup man in the game.

Lopez was the league’s best closer last year, posting a 1.68 ERA and 19 saves in 48.1 innings over 44 games, and was an All-Star. In return, Baltimore was able to get four young pitchers in the trade: left-hander Cade Povich (23), left-hander Juan Rojas (19), right-hander Juan Nunez (22), and right-hander Yoenis Cano (29).

A year later, the trade is shaping up to be a complete win for Baltimore. Povich has grown into Baltimore’s 12th best prospect, while Nunez has become the team’s 29th best.

And Cano has turned into one of the best bullpens in the league this season, with a 1.68 ERA, 29 holds, and five saves in 64.1 innings pitched in 61 games so far. An All-Star selection this year was a no-brainer.

So for Baltimore, they traded away last year’s All-Star bullpen to get this year’s All-Star bullpen, plus three pitching prospects.

Lopez struggles after switching teams…Minnesota retrades him a year later

But Lopez had a bumpy road. In the second half of last year, after moving to Minnesota, he fell short of expectations with a 4.37 ERA, one hold, and four saves in 22.2 innings. Suddenly, Minnesota, which led the AL Central with a 54-49 record before Lopez arrived, collapsed to 78-84 and missed the postseason. Only Baltimore, which had traded Lopez, fared better (83 wins and 79 losses).

Lopez didn’t bounce back this season, either; after a brief flare-up early in the season, he fell back into a slump and finished with a 5.09 ERA, six walks, and three saves in 35.1 innings, not good enough to be used as a closer.

Eventually, Minnesota traded Lopez back on July 26 for Miami Marlins bullpen Dylan Floro, 32. The deal was meant to shake things up by swapping two pitchers who had been underperforming, but it turned out to be even worse.

Lopez is coming off the worst performance of his career with a 9.26 ERA in 11.2 innings for Miami, and Floro is also struggling mightily with a 5.91 ERA in 10.2 innings for Minnesota.

Miami’s patience reached its limit, and they placed Lopez on waivers, who was claimed by Baltimore, turning a four-for-one trade a year ago into a trade where they just got four guys for “nothing.

“I’m really excited and grateful to be back here,” said Lopez, who is happy to be back with a team he has many fond memories of.

Trading partners…can two All-Star bullpens help the Orioles win?

Baltimore claimed Lopez and immediately put him to work. Lopez took the mound in the top of the eighth inning of the Orioles’ 8-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier today (Thursday), marking his first start in a Baltimore uniform since July 29 of last year.

Lopez gave up a double to the first batter he faced, but retired the next three batters, all with one strikeout, to get through the first inning.

The ninth inning belonged to Cano, the “Lopez legacy. Cano pitched a scoreless inning to win the game. For the first time in a year, the traded parties appeared in a game and helped the team win.

Today, Baltimore is 85-51 (.625 winning percentage) and in first place in the AL East, as well as the AL overall. However, they trail the second-place Tampa Bay Rays (83 wins, 54 losses, .606 winning percentage) by 2.5 games.

Making the postseason as a wild card is a virtual certainty, but first place in the division is no sure thing, which is why it will be interesting to see if Lopez, who is back after a one-year absence, can form an ironclad bullpen with Cano to help Baltimore “keep the lead.먹튀검증

It’s certainly possible if Lopez and Cano continue to work together as well as they did today, and if it plays out that way, last year’s Lopez trade may go down as one of the best in Baltimore history.

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