After missing out on one option Ryan Madson joining the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Phillies still need to fill a key 8th inning role in the bullpen. The Phillies are turning to a trade to try to accomplish this goal. According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly, the Phillies are in active trade talks with the Houston Astros to acquire their closer Wilton Lopez.
Lopez took over the closer's role from Brett Myers last season upon Myers' trade to the Chicago White Sox. In the closer's role Lopez secured 10 saves. For the season, Lopez was 6-3 with a 2.17 ERA in 66 games. In his big league career he is 13-13 with a 3.14 ERA in 213 games. The Astros reportedly want to make their payroll as low as humanly possible this season while they rebuild under new owner Jim Crane.
Lopez would be a nice fit, helping the Phillies fill the 8th inning role they had so much trouble with last season. While Justin DeFratus and Phillippe Aumont show great promise, Lopez is a surer bet. If the Phillies don't have to give either up, they will have the makings of a top bullpen in 2013 and beyond.