Twins acquire Orioles closer Jorge Lopez
The Minnesota Twins are acquiring Jorge Lopez from Baltimore Orioles, per Jon Heyman. Lopez, formerly the Orioles closer, has been fantastic in 2022. The right-hander owns a sparkling 1.68 ERA to go along with a 0.97 WHIP and 19 saves. He is arguably the most underrated reliever in baseball. Mark Feinsand reports that Baltimore received Cade Povich, Yennier Cano, and two other pitching prospects in return.
The Twins hold a narrow 1 game lead in the AL Central over the Cleveland Guardians. The Chicago White Sox are not far behind either. Minnesota has needed to upgrade their pitching staff for a while now, and this move strengthens the back end of their bullpen. They will also look at starting pitchers to deepen their rotation. Tyler Mahle of the Cincinnati Reds has been linked to the Twins.
But at the very least, acquiring a star reliever like Jorge Lopez is a tremendous move. Strong bullpens have the potential to carry teams down the stretch. When starting pitching fizzles out in September due to the long season, the teams that survive tend to have an impressive relief core.
Lopez also features some of the nastiest stuff in baseball. His fastball has a ton of arm-side run and sits in the high 90s.
Jorge López, Filth. 😷 pic.twitter.com/JxMWlLii4h
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 27, 2022
Oh, and his curveball isn’t bad either.
Jorge López, Wicked 84mph Curveball. 🤢 pic.twitter.com/P7UvmcgDOo
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 19, 2022
The Twins are getting a quality reliever without question. He could take over closing duties for Minnesota. However, he also would be a lethal 8th inning option. Manager Rocco Baldelli has a number of options for the late innings now between Jorge Lopez, Yhoan Duran, and Tyler Duffey.