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Giants working to agree on deal with Javier Lopez

AP - Sports

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The Giants were working Wednesday to reach agreement with left-handed reliever Javier Lopez on a three-year contract.

San Francisco assistant general manager Bobby Evans said the sides were ''close,'' but a physical wouldn't be scheduled until an agreement had been reached. A day after signing right-hander Tim Hudson to a $23 million, two-year contract, the Giants were busy trying to add to an already-talented pitching staff.

Among the top priorities of Evans and general manager Brian Sabean this offseason was to retain Lopez, if possible, while realizing he would be a popular player on the free-agent market. Discussions have been ongoing for some time.

The 36-year-old is part of a deep and experienced bullpen. He went 4-2 with a 1.83 ERA in 69 appearances and 39 1-3 innings this year, when the Giants missed the playoffs one season after winning their second World Series in three years.

Signing Lopez to a multiyear deal would give the Giants two lefties in the bullpen for the next two seasons. Jeremy Affeldt received an $18 million, three-year contract last November.

In addition, starters Madison Bumgarner and Matt Cain are signed long term, along with 2012 NL MVP and batting champion catcher Buster Posey. Two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum landed a $35 million, two-year deal late last month.

San Francisco acquired Lopez from at the 2010 trade deadline from Pittsburgh for John Bowker and Joe Martinez, and he quickly emerged as a reliable option for manager Bruce Bochy as the club made an improbable run to the city's first World Series championship since moving West in 1958.

Lopez just completed an $8.5 million, two-year contract signed in fall 2011 that paid him $4.25 million each season.

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