Why did the Mets DFA Jorge Lopez? Pitcher throws glove in stands, says he’s on worst team in MLB

Jorge Lopez’s Mets career appears to have screeched to a swift halt on Wednesday afternoon.

Following a terse interaction with third base umpire Roman de Jesus following a disputed check swing, Lopez was tossed from New York’s 10-3 loss to Los Angeles. He proceeded to leave fireworks as he strutted off the diamond, sending his baseball glove into the stands in one fell swoop.

The confrontation took place in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game. Lopez’s appearance proved a wretched sight from the opening salvo. He picked up an error on a pick-off attempt, surrendered a two-run double, followed by a two-run homer.

As he walked off the grass, Lopez untucked his jersey in a fit of rage. He then launched his gauntlet over the protective net and into the concourses. It landed harmlessly into the lap of a fan decked in Yankees regalia.

Shortly thereafter, Lopez was designated for assignment by his employers. Here’s what you need to know about Lopez’s designation, as well as the controversy surrounding his post-game interview.

Why the Mets are DFA’ing Jorge Lopez

New York’s decision to designate Lopez springs not just from his actions on the field, but his reaction to the actions off of it, too.

Following the game, Lopez was asked whether he regretted his decision to hurtle parts of his strip into the stratosphere. Lopez was adamant that he made the right choice.

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“I don’t regret it,” he said. “I’m ready to come back tomorrow if they want me here. So I’ll be here.”

That doesn’t seem to be the case, however. The Mets are expected to remove Lopez from their 40-man roster. Teams can attempt to place a waiver claim on Lopez over the next seven days. If that falls through and Lopez remains contracted to the Mets, he will be sent down to the minor leagues.

It wasn’t a decision that came out of left field (no pun intended). Following the contest, New York skipper Carlos Mendoza denounced Lopez’s action, vowing to handle the matters in-house.

“Whenever you go into a stretch like this, you’re going to see some emotions from players,” Mendoza said. “But what we saw today out of (López), that’s not acceptable. We will address that internally here.”

Some, including SNY reporter Steve Gelbs, claimed that Lopez called his franchise the “worst team in the whole f— MLB.” That might not have actually been the case, however.

NJ.com reporter (and native Spanish speaker) Manny Gomez suggested that Lopez’s actual sentiment got lost in translation. Lopez is from Puerto Rico. Spanish is his first language. Although it may have seemed like Lopez was deriding his franchise to the untrained ear, Lopez actually intended to say that his gesture made him look like “the worst teammate probably in the whole f— MLB.” An entirely different story, correct?

However, when asked to clarify if he said he was on the worst team, Lopez seemed to reiterate that he did, in fact, say that.

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“Yeah, probably. It look like,” Lopez said.

He also agreed that the team was embarrassed by his actions, but once again, it’s fair to wonder if something is getting lost in translation.

Either way, fellow Mets reliever Adam Ottavino pledged that the team would talk to Lopez and figure out his next steps.

“Deep down he knows he shouldn’t have done that, obviously,” Ottavino said. “We’ll talk. Everybody is going through stuff. He is going to answer the way he wants to answer. Would I do it? No. But he’s part of the team — we are going to support him and figure it out either way.”

Whether that will happen with Lopez away from the side is anyone’s guess. He recorded a 3.76 ERA in 28 appearances with New York this season.

What does ‘DFA’ mean in MLB?

Per MLB’s official website, being DFA’d — designated for assignment — means the following:

When a player’s contract is designated for assignment — often abbreviated “DFA” — that player is immediately removed from his club’s 40-man roster. Within seven days of the transaction (had been 10 days under the 2012-16 Collective Bargaining Agreement), the player can either be traded or placed on outright or unconditional release waivers.

If the player is claimed off waivers by another club, he is immediately added to that team’s 40-man roster, at which point he can be optioned to the Minor Leagues (if he has Minor League options remaining) or assigned to his new team’s 26-man roster.

If the player clears outright waivers, he may be assigned outright to the Minor Leagues. However, players with more than five years of Major League service time can reject an assignment to the Minor Leagues, and players with more than three years of Major League service time, or who have been previously outrighted, may reject the outright assignment in favor of free agency in lieu of the assignment. If the player clears unconditional release waivers, he is unconditionally released.

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