Former Mets reliever joins Cubs on minor league deal

May 7, 2024; St. Louis, Missouri, USA;  New York Mets relief pitcher Jorge Lopez (52) pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals during the seventh inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Jorge Lopez has found a new MLB home after an uneventful conclusion to his tenure with the New York Mets in 2024.

Will Sammon and Patrick Mooney of The Athletic revealed on X that Lopez has signed a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs:

The Mets let Jorge Lopez go in the midst of solid 2024 outing

Apr 30, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jorge Lopez (52) delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs during the ninth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets originally signed Lopez in Dec. of 2023. He played in 28 games for them this year, eight of which he finished. In that span, the 2022 All-Star went 1-2 with two saves behind a 3.76 ERA.

Despite his play, the Mets let him go after he let his emotions out in their 10-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 29. The 31-year-old was incensed over a check swing call that didn’t go his way. He got into it with the umpire who made the call and then threw his glove into the stands before storming off the field. Lopez also voiced unpleasantries after the game which exacerbated the stain he put to his name with the franchise.

Lopez will strengthen Cubs bullpen in leadup to showdown vs Mets this summer

Lopez will now join a Cubs team that has a middle-of-the-pack bullpen. Chicago’s relief unit owns 16 saves on the year, which is No. 17 in the MLB. The Cubs are 33-35, second in the NL Central and a half-game back from the San Francisco Giants (34-35) for the sixth and final Wild Card spot in the league. They’ll welcome Lopez and his 95.1 mph fastball to their bullpen. The Puerto Rican talent will square off against his former team the Mets on June 21.

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