A year ago around this time, the Nationals released Felipe Lopez outright. He had become such a drag on the team, that they were happy to pay him to go away.
Yesterday, the Arizona Diamondbacks traded Lopez to the Brewers for two minor leaguers, High-A right-hander Roque Mercedes and Triple-A outfielder Cole Gillespie.
Gillespie, 25, was a third round pick in 2006 and was rated the #9 prospect in the Brewers system by Baseball America. He's an unspectacular but all-around solid player who should become a useful fourth outfielder, at least.
Mercedes, 22, has a 1.08 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 41.6 innings in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League.
Neither of these players are franchise-changers, and this isn't a deal that could have happened by the time Lopez was cut by the Scats, but still it's frustrating to see a team get value in return for a guy we paid to go away a year ago.
Even more galling, the Brewers will be in line to get an extra draft pick if he is offered and declines arbitration this off season, since Lopez is likely to qualify as a type-B free agent.
Put this on the long list of "buy high, sell low" roster mismanagement episodes from the Bowden years.