Orioles show interest in Nats' Lopez
Trade rumors involving shortstop surface on Friday afternoon
WASHINGTON -- The Orioles have declared their interest in Nationals infielder Felipe Lopez, a baseball source confirmed on Friday afternoon. The news was first reported by FOXSports.com.
Washington is believed looking for the best possible deal for Lopez, who is having another disappointing season. His future with the Nationals beyond this season is in doubt.
Lopez didn't know that the Orioles had interest in him until reporters approached him on Friday at 4 p.m. ET.
"I haven't even thought about that really since Spring Training. I heard the same thing this spring," Lopez said. "I have been concentrating on staying focused and trying to do the best I can."
Lopez has been on the bench during the past three games, while Willie Harris has received the starting nod at second base. Manager Manny Acta declined to say if Harris was now the everyday second baseman. Lopez and Acta have not talked about Lopez's situation. Acta hinted, in fact, that such a session will not take place.
"I think I've talked to him enough from last year about everything we expect out of him," Acta said.
There are people in the organization who believe that Lopez hasn't played up to his capabilities this season. Last year, off-field problems hampered Lopez. While he didn't allude to what the problems were, he said that he hasn't faced them this season and he feels 100 percent healthy.
"I don't know who you talked to, but maybe they need to communicate," Lopez said when told of the organization's feelings. "Nobody communicates around here. Everything is a mystery. They are guessing. Nothing is wrong with me. I'm fine."
Entering Friday's action, Lopez is hitting .247 with two home runs and 20 RBIs. He is hitless in his past 12 at-bats. Lopez believes he is swinging the bat well, but is hitting into some hard outs.
"I feel good. I've been lining out a lot. It's just bad luck," Lopez said. "If half of those lineouts had fallen in, it would be a different story."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.