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Astros trade Lopez to Rockies for White, minor-leaguer

The SportsXchange

Right-hander Wilton Lopez, who finished last season as the Houston Astros' closer, was acquired by the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

Houston received right-handed starter Alex White and minor league right-hander Alex Gillingham in the deal. Colorado also will get cash or a player to be named.

Lopez likely will serve as a setup man in front of Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt.

Lopez nearly was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies last week before the deal was scrapped due to concerns about the reliever's elbow.

"We are comfortable with his health," Rockies director of major league operations Bill Geivett said, according to the Denver Post. "What we like about him is that he's a strike-thrower. What we understand about his leadership and the type of the guy he is, we believe he's going to be impactful for us."

In September and October, Lopez went 8-for-8 on save chances while posting a 1.29 ERA in 13 games. On the season, he went 6-3 with 10 saves and a 2.17 ERA in 64 appearances. Lopez struck out 54 and walked just eight in 66 1/3 innings.

Lopez spent four seasons with the Astros, finishing 13-13 with 11 saves and a 3.14 ERA in 213 games.

He will be arbitration-eligible this winter.

White, 24, finished 2-9 with a 5.51 ERA in 23 games (20 starts) for Colorado last season. In parts of three seasons with the Cleveland Indians and the Rockies, White is 5-13 with a 6.03 ERA in 33 games (30 starts).

"He's certainly a pitcher we believe is capable of being a big part of our rotation, not only for the next year but for a long time to come," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Luhnow acknowledged that the Astros' closer role is now up for grabs, with the team looking at internal and external candidates.

Gillingham, 23, spent last season with low Class A Asheville, where he went 6-8 with a 3.66 ERA in 19 starts.
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