Great news, courtesy of JB Long, as Felipe Lopez not only cleared waivers, but accepted an assignment to Durham. I wasn’t a fan of sacrificing Lopez for a 12-man pitching stuff, but I wrote this at the time:
The Rays know more about three aspects that could drive them to this move:
1) Lopez’s likelihood of clearing waivers.
2) Lopez’s trade value.
3) Johnson and Rodriguez’s health.
The last item there is vital and obvious—designating Lopez for assignment with their health unclear is a really silly idea—but the first two are big too. Simply put, I don’t believe Lopez is undesirable to a number of teams in the league. With Donnie Murphy on the DL, the Marlins are using a Greg Dobbs-Wes Helms platoon. I have to think they would give Lopez a look. The Nationals have used Jerry Hairston Jr., Brian Bixler, and Alex Cora at the hot corner this week alone, again, they may have interest (I doubt Lopez’s backstory there comes into play, as it was under a different management group, but who knows).
For whatever reason, those teams passed, and the Rays probably had a decent idea he might. Perhaps more surprising is that he accepted an assignment to Triple-A. You can say whatever you want about his bat flipping episode or reputation, but it’s hard to argue that Ray Olmedo is a better insurance policy than Lopez, should the Rays suffer another injury or decide to move on from Elliot Johnson.