ARLINGTON, Texas – The Orioles proved this morning that they weren’t done dealing. And the distance between them and the last wild card spot wouldn’t matter.
Closer Jorge López has been traded to the Twins for four minor league pitchers. Both teams announced it a few minutes ago.
The Orioles are receiving left-handers Cade Povich and Juan Rojas, and right-handers Yennier Canó and Juan Nuñez.
More talent for the pipeline. Another important member of a surprise contender, with high velocity and character, headed out the door.
López made his first All-Star team this year and led the Orioles with 19 saves while posting a 1.68 ERA and 0.972 WHIP in 44 games in his first season as closer. He struck out 54 batters in 48 1/3 innings.
The story of López moves beyond the games. Son Mikael’s health issues and how López handled them – and the joy expressed when they were together in Boston for a birthday celebration – made the on-field accomplishments seem secondary.
López remains under team control for 2023 and 2024, but executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias wasn’t going to pass on a prospect return of this magnitude. And his bullpen has been drawing interest.
Félix Bautista can move into the closer’s role if he stays with the team past the 6 p.m. trade deadline.
Baseball America ranks Povich as the Twins’ No. 21 prospect and MLBPipeline.com has him 22nd.
Povich, 22, was a third-round selection in the 2021 draft out of the University of Nebraska. He made 16 starts this year at high Single-A Cedar Rapids and posted a 4.46 ERA and 1.233 WHIP with 107 strikeouts in 78 2/3 innings.
Rojas, 18, has a 3.60 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in eight games (five starts) in the Florida Complex League, with four walks and 38 strikeouts in 30 innings. Nuñez, 21, has a 4.85 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in eight games (seven starts) in the FCL, with 47 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings.
Canó, 28, is on the 40-man roster. He made 10 relief appearances with the Twins and allowed 14 runs and 17 hits with 11 walks and 14 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.
His last appearance with the Twins was July 27.
The Cuban native has registered a 3.07 ERA with 126 strikeouts in 108 1/3 innings in the minors.
The Twins also received cash in the deal.
The Orioles recalled left-hander Nick Vespi from Triple-A Norfolk to replace López.
Elias dealt first baseman/outfielder Trey Mancini to the Astros yesterday in a three-team deal. He's received six pitchers for the pipeline.
The Orioles' 40-man roster now has 39 players.