Nationals interested in Javier Lopez


(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

In their search for left-handed relief pitching, the Nationals have reached to out San Francisco Giants free agent Javier Lopez, Lopez’s agent Barry Meister said.

General Manager Mike Rizzo sent Meister a text message a week ago, and the sides have a “mutual level of interest,” Meister said. The sides have not been in touch since the initial communication, but they plan to reconvene.

The Nationals are looking to beef up the left side of their bullpen, which was lacking last season, especially early in the year. A key cog in the Giants’ 2012 World Series run and an 11-year veteran, Lopez has been one of the game’s most reliable lefty specialists. Lopez made $4.25 million in 2013, the final season of a two-year, $8.5 million deal.

Lopez, 36, has appeared in 72 games per season over the past four years, striking out 6.9 batters per nine innings with a 2.37 ERA. Last year, left-handed batters hit .156/.208/.222 against his deceptive, sidewinding delivery. Over the last three years, remarkably, Lopez has allowed one home run to a left-handed hitter in 299 plate appearances.

Meister said playing for a team that has a chance to win the World Series would be the “overriding factor” in Lopez’s decision on his 2014 destination. Location may be in the Nationals’ favor, too. Lopez was born in Puerto Rico, but he grew up in Fairfax, attended Robinson High and played college ball at Virginia. His sister and other family members still live in the area.

The Nationals have also expressed interest in Boone Logan, and Rizzo has raised the idea of breaking in left-handed pitching prospects, namely Sammy Solis, as another option to beef up the left side of the bullpen. Manny Parra and J.P. Howell, free agents the Nationals had interest in last season, could also be targets.

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.

sports

nationals-journal

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments
Next Story
Adam Kilgore · November 13, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.