Atlanta Braves Sign Pitcher Rodrigo Lopez

The Atlanta Braves announced they have signed right-handed pitcher Rodrigo Lopez to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. Financial terms were not announced. Reports had surfaced earlier in the week that the Braves were one of the teams Lopez was considering; the others being the Mets and Rockies.

This will be the second stint for Lopez in the Braves organization. He was previously signed to a minor league deal late in the 2008 season a year after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He rehabbed with two of the organization's minor league teams, but was released a month later.

Lopez put up ChuckJamesesque numbers for the Diamondbacks last year while starting 30 games and tossing 200 innings. He managed to lead the league in earned runs and home runs allowed. It was mentioned earlier in the week (by Mark Bowman, I believe) that Lopez would likely be either triple-A starter insurance or he would complete for a spot in the Braves bullpen. As insurance I'm fine with the move. If it's anything else, then why bother?

Since Lopez spent time in the Orioles organization, he is likely very familiar to many of the former Orioles execs now working in the Braves front office. Guys, this approach didn't work for Dayton Moore and the Royals, so why try it in Atlanta?

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