D-backs Deal Lopez to Milwaukee for Prospects
Felipe Lopez (Elaine Thompson/AP)

Posted Jul 19, 2009


The Arizona Diamondbacks traded infielder Felipe Lopez to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for outfielder Cole Gillespie and right-handed pitcher Roque Mercedes. Gillespie was the fifth-best prospect in the Brewers organization entering this season, as ranked by Scout.com.

"Obviously where we are in the standings, I think you have to consider trades like this," D-backs general manager Josh Byrnes said. "Felipe played really well for us and fit in well, especially with the younger players, but the reality is he's a free agent at the end of the year and he brought back two guys that we think have long-term value to us."

Cole Gillespie, 25, hit .242 (57-for-236) with 12 doubles, five triples, seven home runs, and 27 RBI in 75 games for Nashville (AAA). He opened the season with a sprained elbow that forced him to begin playing for Brevard County (A-Advanced), where he hit .349 (15-for-43) with two doubles, three triples, one home run, and nine RBI in 12 games. In parts of four seasons in the minor leagues, he has hit .281 (383-for-1365) with 89 doubles, 16 triples, 42 home runs and 208 RBI in 398 games.


Gillespie was ranked as the Brewers' fifth-best prospect in the 2009 Scout.com Prospects guide Magazine and was a member of the 2006 Oregon State University College World Series championship team. He will be assigned to Reno (AAA).

"Gillespie is a guy we actually liked a little bit in the Draft," Byrnes said. "[He] has gone out and performed well. He had a slow start this year, had an elbow injury coming out of Spring Training, but he's in Triple-A and we think he has a chance to be a major league player for us."

The 22-year old Roque Mercedes went 1-1 with six saves and a 1.08 ERA (five ER in 41.2 IP) in 29 games for Brevard County (A-Advanced). He has held lefties to a .172 average (11-for-64) with seven walks and 19 strikeouts and limited right-handed hitters to a .185 average (15-for-81) with eight walks and 26 strikeouts. In parts of five seasons in the minor leagues, he is 20-22 with nine saves and a 4.50 ERA (191 ER in 382.1 IP) in 115 games (53 starts), while holding opponents to a .258 average (387-for-1502) with 135 walks and 323 strikeouts. Mercedes will be assigned to Mobile (AA) or Visalia (A-Advanced).

"We like his potential as a reliever down the road," Byrnes said.

Lopez hit .301 (104-for-345) with 18 doubles, a triple, six home runs and 25 RBI in 85 games for the D-backs. He signed with the D-backs as a free agent on December 12, 2008. Over parts of nine seasons in the Majors, Lopez has hit .265 (942-for-3546) with 177 doubles, 28 triples, 77 home runs and 359 RBI in 958 games for Toronto (2001-02), Cincinnati (2003-2006), Washington (2006-2008), St. Louis (2008) and Arizona (2009).

In a corresponding move to be made tomorrow, infielder Ryan Roberts will be recalled from Reno (AAA). Roberts hit .257 (27-for-105) with seven doubles and five RBI in 53 games for the D-backs this season. He was optioned to Reno on July 4 and hit .310 (13-for-42) with a double, triple, home run and 10 RBI in 10 games for the Aces.


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