No GM should pay Lopez like a 5-win player, but really, I don’t think anyone is going to have to. He’s been on 4 teams in the past two years and isn’t the kind of slugger who is going to be overvalued on the market. He’s on the other side of 30, and he isn’t a shortstop anymore. I don’t care how good of a year he had, I just can’t see anyone starting a bidding war over a player like Lopez.
That doesn’t mean GMs should ignore him altogether though. 2/$20M or 3/$27M I think are perfectly acceptable offers for his services. If he demands anything north of that then screw it, but just because he was way, way better in 2009 than he has in recent years doesn’t automatically mean every GM needs to steer clear of him.
He’s a switch-hitter who takes his walks and is a capable defender at second. Even after accounting for some BABIP regression, there’s plenty of reason to think Lopez can be a +2, maybe even +3 win player. That’s the kind of player plenty of teams—namely the Chicago Cubs—could definitely use on their roster. With Jeff Baker—who is a valuable player in his own right—ready to spell Lopez whenever needed, I think these two could easily combine to be a +4 win combo at 2B.
It’ll all come down to his asking price, but if he can be had for a something similar to the aforementioned figures, I think he’s a player the Cubs would do quite well to pursue.
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