Moving into the prospects pool of the Jays’ organization, Otto Lopez has been identified by us, as well as the Athletic (subscription required) as a prime candidate for the Jays to use as a valuable trade chip at the deadline. Lopez is a versatile player that has the ability to play multiple positions in both the infield and outfield. He provided a glimpse of his ability to the Jays back in the season finale doubleheader last year, along with having a strong Spring Training camp and his showing representing Canada at the World Baseball Classic earlier this year.
However, he has struggled a bit with the Jays’ Triple-A affiliate Buffalo Bisons to start the 2023 season, but has picked it up lately in the past couple of months. For the year, Lopez sports a .251 batting average, with 45 runs scored, eight doubles, five triples, only two home runs, 31 RBI, 12 stolen bases, 22 walks and 55 strikeouts in 80 games played. But with the crowded logjam created in Jays’ infield and outfield as a result of both Biggio and Merrifield being able to cover both fields, along with the blockage by promising prospects Orelvis Martinez and Addison Barger at Buffalo, Lopez appears to be also a victim of the numbers game, and will probably have to bring his game to another MLB club in order to have a chance to crack the majors.
But given his positional flexibility and good contact skills, he will be a valuable trade chip that the Jays could use at the trade deadline to reel in a bigger fish that could help the team right now in their playoff run.