Posted by Steve
Here I was, well into a post about Roy Halladay when the Brewers so rudely interrupted with a trade. They have just acquired Arizona second baseman Felipe Lopez for AAA outfielder Cole Gillespie and A reliever Roque Mercedes.
Lopez is a solid player, and I expect him to be the full time second baseman the rest of the year and also hit leadoff. He plays good defense at second, short and third, and has good average and OBP skills. He’s hitting .305/.368/.416 this season. The best part: Lopez is a free agent at the end of the year, which means second base will still belong to Rickie Weeks next season. Lopez is also likely to be a Type B free agent, which means the Brewers will get a compensation pick for him.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Cole Gillespie. I went to the College World Series and saw him play for Oregon State just a couple weeks after the Brewers drafted him. I’ve followed him pretty closely as he made his way up the minor league ranks. He has decent speed, good on base skills and some pop. It’s pretty clear that he’ll be a major leaguer before long, but once I remove myself from my fanboy-dom for Gillespie, I can’t say he profiles as much more than a fourth outfielder. The pick the Brewers will get for Lopez has a good chance to be a similar caliber of player.
If I had to guess the corresponding roster move, I’d guess Mat Gamel will be optioned back to AAA to get regular playing time. My preference is to see Gamel playing nearly every day at third, but since it seems Ken Macha simply won’t do that, I’d rather see him playing every day in Nashville than burning up service time warming the bench. Lopez will play second and lead off, while McGehee and Counsell will likely handle third. Counsell has done a good job this season, but I don’t mind giving his knees more of a rest.