- Associated Press - Sunday, October 30, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Left-handed reliever Javier Lopez has agreed to an $8.5 million, two-year contract to stay with the San Francisco Giants, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Lopez _ one of baseball’s most reliable lefties out of the bullpen _ had been set to become a free agent before receiving a new deal, confirmed under the condition of anonymity because the team had yet to make a formal announcement. Lopez will earn $4.25 million in 2012 and ‘13.

The 34-year-old has gone 7-2 with a 2.38 ERA in 97 appearances since being acquired in a trade from Pittsburgh in 2010, one of general manager Brian Sabean’s key additions during the Giants’ improbable World Series championship run that season.

Lopez had a $2,375,000 base salary in 2011 and was two innings short of earning a $25,000 bonus for reaching 55 innings.

San Francisco must decide by the end of the day Monday whether to exercise the $5 million contract option on fellow lefty reliever Jeremy Affeldt, who has a $500,000 buyout. Sabean has indicated he expects Affeldt to return, even if it means declining the option and renegotiating his contract.

Affeldt, who is healing well from a season-ending hand injury sustained when he seriously cut himself trying to separate frozen hamburgers during an off day Sept. 8, went 3-2 with a 2.63 ERA and three saves in 67 outings this past season. He had given up only three earned runs over his last 22 1-3 innings before the injury that required surgery. His 1.21 ERA since the All-Star break was seventh-lowest among NL relievers with a minimum of 20 innings.

There isn’t a rehab regimen for Affeldt’s injury and he should be at full strength for the start of spring training in February. Getting the surgery done immediately was important.


AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this story.



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