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javy-gets-minor-league-deal | December | 2007 Articles

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Javy Gets Minor League Deal

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With the backup catcher spot wide open, the Braves brought in a veteran to compete for the role, signing Javy Lopez to a minor league contract and extending an invitation to spring training. Lopez marks the second move this off-season with a lot of nostalgic value to Braves fans, the first of course being the Glavine signing. There is one major difference between these two players though; Glavine still has something left in the tank. I get it. Javy was a nice guy and a very good offensive catcher with Atlanta. He was a fan favorite for many years, however he has reached the end of the line. He's a 37-year old catcher, who has caught nearly 1,500 major league games and that is quite a bit of wear and tear on someone. Even when he left Atlanta, Lopez was thought of at best as an average defensive catcher, but the bat that made him such an asset has disappeared completely. Lopez, who hit .326 with 43 home runs in his last season with the Braves, was out of baseball last year and the year before spent a mediocre half-season with Baltimore before being traded to Boston and watching his production fall completely off the map. In 18 games with Boston in 2006, Lopez hit .190 and registered 16 strikeouts. According to Dave O'Brien, Lopez has impressed Braves brass during recent workouts with bench coach Chino Cadahia, but I really doubt it is enough. Even if he hasn't regressed defensively in the past four years, his bat quite obviously has. It's a low-risk move signing him to a minor league deal, however I really would be shocked to see this go anywhere. Sorry Javy, but it's time to move on.

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