As Free Agent Market Thins, Felipe Lopez Still Remains Unsigned

The Red Sox went into the 2011 offseason with a solid approac, offering arbitration to Victor Martinez, Adrian Beltre, and Felipe Lopez knowing they wouldn't accept.  Martinez and Beltre qualified for Type-A status while Lopez managed to qualify for Type-B status.

Victor Martinez, as expected, left Boston for the Detroit Tigers by signing a four-year, 50 million dollar contract.  Because the Tigers decided to pass on both Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth, the Red Sox collected Detroit's number 19 overall draft pick as well as a sandwich pick for the Type-A free agent.

Beltre also packed his bags, except he went south by signing with the Texas Rangers on a six-year. 96 million dollar deal.  Because the Rangers chose not to go after Rafael Soriano, the Red Sox collected their number 26 overall pick and another sandwich pick.

Even though they were forced to surrender their number 24 pick to the Rays for Carl Crawford, the Red Sox currently sit with two first round picks in hand to go with two supplemental picks.

Meanwhile, Lopez still remains on the market as the only free agent who was offered arbitration by their former club.  The Red Sox signed Lopez back in September for the rest of the season (after being released by St. Louis) as they looked to take advantage of his Type-B status by offering him arbitration the following offseason, hoping that a team would bite.

Thus far, Lopez has had a very quiet offseason as nearly no team has even come near him and his Type-B free agent status.  If a team were to sign Lopez, the Red Sox would get a supplemental first round pick, which would give them five of the first 55 picks in the 2011 draft. 

Lopez didn't have a great year last year, as he only managed a .233/.311/.345 line with both Boston and St. Louis.  Despite his stuggles, however, Lopez has been fairly productive in the past.  He hit a career-high .320 in 2009 with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers and recorded a 3.9 wins above replacement rating (WAR). 

If Felipe Lopez isn't signed before this year's draft, the Red Sox would come up empty-handed. However, with teams having their big signings out of the way, now might be the time one would expect guys like Lopez to come off the market as teams add depth and polish off the last parts of their rosters.

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