Less than a week ago it appeared that the Houston Astros were on the verge of dealing relief pitcher Wilton Lopez to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for a pair of prospects, however the deal fell through for reasons that still have not fully become public knowledge. It was widely believed at the time that Houston would continue to shop the right-hander and a new suitor was found by Monday evening, as a deal would be announced by both the Astros and Colorado Rockies. Lopez would be heading to Denver, while the Astros would receive a pair of right-handers, Alex White and Alex Gillingham, in return.
Lopez has demonstrated a strong track record over the past three seasons working out of Houston’s bullpen, posting ERAs under 3.00 while pitching over 60.0 innings in each of the past three seasons. He’ll likely slide into a late innings role for the Rockies, potentially setting up for likely closer Rafael Betancourt, but could also be an option for Colorado if they need someone capable of throwing more than one inning in an outing. Lopez will be under team control through the 2015 season.
White spent the better part of the 2012 season working out of the Rockies’ rotation, posting a 2-9 record and 5.51 ERA in 98.0 innings (23 G, 20 GS) in Colorado. He’d go 3-4 with a 3.71 ERA in 60.2 more innings (11 starts) at Triple-A. White was one of the two promising starting options (along with Drew Pomeranz) that the Rockies would acquire from the Indians when they dealt Ubaldo Jimenez away during the 2011 season, but to date he’s been unable to produce results with consistency in Colorado. White’s chances at beginning the 2013 season as part of the starting rotation appeared slim with Colorado, but the openings with Houston appear to be even fewer. He will likely need to have a strong Spring Training in order to crack the Opening Day roster.
Gillingham, meanwhile, made 19 starts for Colorado’s Class-A affiliate, going 6-8 with a 3.66 ERA over 123.0 innings. The 23 year old was an 11th Round pick by the Rockies in the 2011 Draft.