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Rockies send White to Astros for Wilton Lopez

The Rockies appear to have found the late-inning reliever they’ve sought this offseason.

Thomas Harding of MLB.com and the Rockies’ official Twitter account reported on Tuesday night that the Rockies acquired right-hander Wilton Lopez from the Astros and a player to be named later or cash in exchange for right-hander Alex White and minor league pitcher Alex Gillingham. Lopez is a hard-throwing righty who has quietly posted superb numbers the last three seasons, including a 2.17 ERA and 10 saves as the Astros’ primary setup man in 2012.

In 2010 and 2011, Lopez also had sub-3 ERAs and has demonstrated durability in his three full major league seasons, posting at least 64 appearances in ’10-’12. Lopez is considered a ground ball pitcher, which would seem a fit with the Rockies playing at altitude.

White, meanwhile, was considered one of the gems in the July 2011 Ubaldo Jimenez trade, but he fizzled during his time in LoDo, shutting between the rotation, bullpen and minor leagues. White had a 2-9 record with a 5.51 ERA in 2012.

Gillingham, 23, went 6-8 with a 3.66 ERA at low-A Asheville in 2012.

The winter meetings will wrap up on Wednesday in Nashville, but the Rockies have already made their first big splash of the offseason.

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