Minnesota Twins: Twins acquire All-Star closer Jorge López from Baltimore
After a deadline full of waiting, the Minnesota Twins finally struck a deal. The American League Central leaders are acquiring the services of All-Star closer, Jorge López, from the Baltimore Orioles and in exchange sending the O’s four young pitching prospects.
Jhoan Duran has been one of the better relievers in the American League in 2022, but the Twins seem set on keeping him in a flexible role pitching in high-leverage spots. The problem with that is that Emilio Pagan hasn’t really taken the closer’s job and run with it at any point.
With the acquisition of breakout closer López, the Twins get their shutdown closer that hasn’t been there since the Taylor Rogers trade, and are freed up to use Jhoan Duran in a more flexible role. The bullpen as a whole gets a huge boost.
The Minnesota Twins traded for All-Star closer Jorge López from the Baltimore Orioles.
López has a 1.68 ERA in 48.1 innings pitched in 2022, and currently, bolsters a sub-1.00 WHIP with a 27.6 K%. Opposing hitters have a rather poor .529 OPS against him. If you’re wondering why the Orioles decided to let him go when the team has recently entered Wild Card contention, well, among other things their bullpen has the depth to make this move and remain an effective one. Félix Bautista is also having a breakout campaign and can seamlessly step into the role.
Sending the Orioles’ way, the Twins will part with four pitching prospects, right-handers Yennier Cano and Juan Nuñez, and southpaws Cade Povich and Juan Rojas. The Twins managed to keep the top end of their farm system in this deal, intact, for the most part, and they still have room to go out and add depth to a pitching staff that sorely needs it, whether it’d be in the bullpen or starting rotation.
Jorge López is the new Minnesota Twins closer, and if he can sustain the excellent first-half numbers he put up with the Orioles, Minnesota will have one of the better closers in the AL locked up for two plus years.