Jim Salisbury, the Phillies Insider at CSN Philly, says the Phillies are in "serious talks" with the Astros to acquire Wilton Lopez. Ken Rosenthal has confirmed Salisbury's report. Salisbury says Lopez would be the set-up man for Papelbon.
Lopez was selected off waivers by Ed Wade from the Padres in 2009, and has spent his entire Major-League career with the Astros. From 2010-2012, Lopez has posted a 2.64 ERA / 1.13 WHIP, walking just 31 of the 820 batters he has faced over those three season. He is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter.
Brian Smith reminds us that, in order to give up a guy under team control for three seasons, Luhnow would want major- and minor-league talent in return.
Jon Heyman basically says the deal is done, both sides are just finalizing prospects. Heyman says those prospects will be "near-ML ready."
Update: Luhnow says there is "nothing to report" regarding the trade.
Updated Update: McTaggart has "a baseball source" who says the deal is being finalized. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Bob Brookover says that Lopez is in Philadelphia for a physical.
11:06am: The New Jersey Star-Ledger report indicates that there is one prospect coming back in the deal.
11:36am: CBS Philly says there are "minor-leaguers," plural, going to Houston.
1:02pm: via Todd Zolecki, the Phillies' prospects have been agreed upon.
1:26pm: Prospect Insider says the deal is pending the physical, with two players going to Houston.
1:41pm: ESPN's Kiley McDaniel says that Lopez's physical "isn't a slam dunk," and other teams have been scared about Lopez's medical reports. Remember that back in July/August, Lopez had some elbow tightness and was "unavailable" for a period of time. Last March, Lopez also had forearm issues.And in April 2011, Lopez had neuritis in his pitching elbow.
1:50pm: CSNPhilly says:
A source said they would get two players who have played in the upper levels of the minors if the deal is finalized. That's a decent-sized "if," given Lopez's medical history. But it does look like there are two higher-level minor-leaguers in the deal, which could include 22-year old catcher Sebastian Valle.