The Rays have signed infielder Felipe Lopez to a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to Major League spring training.Ã‚Â Enrique Rojas of ESPNdeportes.com reports that the deal includes $1 million in guaranteed salary plus $1 million in performance incentives if Lopez makes Tampa BayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Major League roster.
The 30-year-old switch-hitter had a .233 batting average with 8 dingers and 37 RBI last season with the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox.Ã‚Â Lopez only played four games with the Boston Red Sox, so I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really flip out about having yet another frigginÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ former BoSox player on our team.
In 2005 Lopez was named a National League All-Star and won an NL Silver Slugger award that same year as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.Ã‚Â While IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d love to see that type of performance again, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to be more realistic.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be just fine by me if Lopez returns to his 2009 form and hits .310 like he did with Milwaukee and Arizona that year.
Just donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get too attached yet, Rays fans.Ã‚Â With the way Lopez has team-hopped in the last few years, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be lucky to get 100 games out of him.Ã‚Â And thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s only if he makes the Major League roster.
On a side note, Lopez has a home in Orlando so if he lands a spot on the roster, he and Johnny Damon could carpool to games.