The Orioles got on the board with their first move of the winter, signing Craig Kimbrel to be their closer after rumors about him coming to Baltimore began swirling. After the new pitcher was brought in, news surfaced about a former one finding a new home.
On Thursday, Jeff Passan of ESPN reported that reliever Jorge López has signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the New York Mets, giving a retooling Mets squad some depth in the middle relief section of their bullpen.
Former Oriole Jorge López signs one year contract with New York Mets
López, who joined the Orioles in 2020, had his big breakout when he converted to a reliever in 2022. He posted a 1.68 ERA and sub-one WHIP while getting 19 saves in 44 games before being dealt to the Minnesota Twins.
That trade netted them Yennier Cano and Cade Povich, giving Baltimore one of the best relievers of last season. López then returned to the Orioles down the stretch in 2023 after being claimed off waivers. His second stint in Baltimore didn't go so well, posting a 5.25 ERA, 5.76 FIP, and 1.250 WHIP in 12 appearances before being DFA'd and released.
The Orioles were the third team López played for in 2023. He started the year with the Twins, appearing in 37 games and getting three saves before he was traded to the Marlins for Dylan Floro. He posted rough numbers in Miami, leading to him being placed on waivers, where the Orioles scooped him up.
Combined between the Twins, Marlins, and Orioles, López had a tough year in 2023. He combined to post a 5.95 ERA, 1.508 WHIP, and 5.76 FIP, averaging 10.2 hits per nine, 1.8 home runs per nine, and 3.4 walks per nine, appearing in 61 games and getting three saves over 59 innings pitched.
With the Mets in need of major league experience to fill out their bullpen, someone like López presents as someone who can fill a need they have while also being a high reward move if they can help him rediscover his early 2022 form. Best of luck to Jorge with the Mets.