Now Commenting On:

After stellar season, Lopez hopes to return to Giants

After stellar season, Lopez hopes to return to Giants

After stellar season, Lopez hopes to return to Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- With Hunter Pence signed and contract talks regarding Tim Lincecum having begun, the Giants' timetable for a deal with potential free agent Javier Lopez could be accelerated.

General manager Brian Sabean stated that he wants to retain Lopez, who quietly has solidified himself as one of the Major Leagues' top left-handed relievers.

"He's very key to our bullpen in his flexibility," Sabean said of Lopez, who earned $4.25 million this year.

Entering Sunday, Lopez had inherited 57 baserunners, the National League's third-highest total. Yet only six of them had scored. That's 10.5 percent, best in the league.

Lopez finished with a team-high 69 appearances. He was unscored upon in all but seven of them. His 1.068 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) was the best of his 11-year career.

Left-handed batters hit .156 this year (14-for-90) off Lopez, 36. He was more effective in this area as the season progressed, as he limited lefties to three hits in their last 34 at-bats against him -- an .088 batting average.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español