Catcher Raffy Lopez was traded from the San Diego Padres to the Atlanta Braves on Thursday as the team needed to clear room on their 40-man roster.
The San Diego Padres announced on Thursday that catcher Raffy Lopez was traded to the Atlanta Braves for cash.
Lopez appeared in 37 games for the Padres this season, hitting three home runs and driving in 13 runs while posting a .176/.265/.284 batting line in 102 at major league at-bats. With the majority of his playing time coming when Austin Hedges went down with an injury, the 31-year-old native of Philadelphia spent most of his 2018 campaign with Triple-A El Paso.
It was highly unlikely that Lopez would retain his spot on the Padres’ 40-man roster after the winter, making this a spectacular move from Padres general manager A.J. Preller. Lopez was nothing but a depth piece for the Padres and was certainly not a part of their future plans whatsoever. With the rise of Austin Allen, and the combo of Francisco Mejia and Austin Hedges already at the big league level, the Padres felt comfortable enough with their catching situation to trade Raffy Lopez away.
Rather than lose him for nothing, Preller was at least able to flip the catcher for some amount of cash.
Not only does this trade benefit the Padres, but it also gives the Braves depth at a position that needed it. With Tyler Flowers the only other catcher on their 40-man roster, Lopez gives Atlanta a veteran presence behind the plate that should have an opportunity to break their 25-man roster as a backup after the spring training.
Trading away Raffy Lopez also clears up a 40-man roster spot for the team. The Padres have a serious roster crunch to address this winter and will have to continue to clear space in order to protect their prized prospects from the Rule-5 Draft.
This move will certainly not be the last one in the Padres’ continuous attempt to create space on their 40-man roster. Expect some other transactions to be made in the coming days by A.J. Preller and company.