Over the next six weeks, we'll be reviewing every player who put on a uniform for the Indians in 2012. Because the season's still going on, the next few weeks will consist of players who for one reason or another won't be playing for the Indians the rest of the way.
Jose Lopez started his career as a second baseman with the Seattle Mariners at age 20. Usually players who can crack the majors at that early an age go on to have long and successful careers, but after a couple nice season at age 24 and 25 he fell off completely, and would be fighting for roster spots soon thereafter. Once upon a time it was thought that the middle infield combination of Lopez and Yuniesky Betancourt would be in place for a long time, but both players are now barely hanging on in the majors.
Lopez started the 2011 season in Colorado, was released in June, and was quickly signed by the Marlins. He finished the season hitting .226/.259/.472 as a part-time player, and that slugging percentage caught attention of the Indians, who were looking for a right-handed bat with power.
12-16-2011: Signed to a Minor-League Contract
4-4-2012: Contract Purchased
The Indians signed Lopez to a minor-league deal in December, and he made the Opening Day roster. But he'd be outrighted on May 1st when the Indians needed a 40-man roster spot. He would pass through waivers though, and the Indians would add him back to the roster just a couple weeks later.
Although Lopez started his career as a second baseman, he played the corners with the Indians, subbing for Casey Kotchman or Jack Hannahan against left-handed pitchers. He appeared in 39 games as a third baseman, 11 games as a first baseman, 4 at second, and was the DH for 12 games.
From the time was called up in mid-May through the end of June, Lopez started 30 games and eppeared in 37 games.
|Player||Position||Bats||2012 Salary||2012 WAR||$/WAR|
|Jose Lopez||1B/3B||Right||$ 800,000.00||-0.4||$ (2,000,000.00)|
Lopez for a time did an very good job, hitting .279/.323/.410 in May and .258/.273/.403 in June. But in July he fell into a deep slump, and by the middle of August, was hitting .249/.272/.366 (OPS+ of 79).
Release and Aftermath
8-8-2012: Designated for Assignment
8-14-2012: Signed with the Chicago White Sox
When the Indians needed an extra man in the bullpen thanks to particularly bad pitching, Lopez was the player removed. After clearing waivers, Lopez elected free agency (as this was the second time the Indians had outrighted him, and he was quickly signed by the Chicago White Sox.
Lopez's contract was for $800K if he made the majors. He had over 6 years of major-league service time, and did not have any options remaining.