Jose Lopez's future with the Seattle Mariners seemed destined to end on Thursday. But the ending turned out a little different than expected.
It appeared likely that the Mariners would simply refuse to tender Lopez a contract by the 9 p.m. deadline. Instead, GM Jack Zduriencik did what he couldn't do last offseason - trade Lopez.
The Mariners sent Lopez to the Colorado Rockies for right-handed pitcher Chaz Roe.
"Chaz is a former first-round pick with a nice arm, a 24-year-old sinker ball pitcher," Zduriencik said in a press release. "We look forward to seeing him in a Mariners uniform."
We also want to thank Jose for his years with the Mariners," Zduriencik added. "We wish him the very best with the Rockies and we'll be pulling for him as he progresses with his career."
Roe, 24, was selected with 32nd overall (sandwich pick) selection in the 2005 June draft. Roe pitched the entire 2010 season pitching with Colorado Springs. He made 27 starts for the Sky Sox and posted a 9-13 mark with a 5.98 ERA. Roe struck out 115 while walking 53.
But remember, the PCL, and particularly Colorado Springs, offer far from ideal conditions for pitchers.
López, 27, hit .239 with 29 doubles and 10 home runs and 58 RBI in 150 games this season. He led all MLB third baseman with 322 assists in his first season at the hot corner.
In seven seasons with the Mariners (2004-10), López hit .266 with 80 home runs and 431 RBI. He was originally signed by Seattle as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2000.
Zduriencik also maintained some infield depth by signing utility infielder Josh Wilson to a one-year contract.
Wilson played in a career-high 108 games with the Mariners last season, playing mostly shortstop in place of the oft-injured Jack Wilson.
He batted .227 (82x361) with 22 runs scored, 14 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs and 25 RBI with Seattle. His 82 hits and 25 RBI also set career highs.