SAN FRANCISCO -- Knowing he would be a free agent at the end of the season, Javier Lopez fully expected to be traded before the July 31 deadline, but general manager Brian Sabean surprised his prized left-hander. Sabean met with Lopez and said he intended to keep him around, not just for the rest of a disappointing 2013 season, but for future years as well.

"I think that was a big deal, I really do," Lopez said. "I've never had a G.M. do that before."

Lopez will now be around for three more years. The 36-year-old passed a physical Tuesday and signed a three-year, $13 million deal that was agreed upon last week. Lopez had wanted to test the market and said the pull from his hometown Washington Nationals was strong, with family members and friends urging the University of Virginia product to return home. But Lopez has found a new home.

"I feel like I went through the process the way I wanted to, obviously with keeping the Giants in the know and keeping them front and center in the whole situation," Lopez said. "I did just want to reach out and see what kind of interest there was around the league and gauge the thoughts of my family, but ultimately San Francisco was number one the entire time and that's ultimately how it worked out.

"I wanted to finish up as a Giant and I just felt that (San Francisco) was a better place for me at the time."

Lopez was 4-2 with a career-best 1.83 ERA last season and made a team-leading 69 appearances out of the bullpen. He held left-handed hitters to a .156 batting average.


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To clear a spot for Lopez on the 40-man roster, left-hander Jose Mijares was outrighted. Mijares, acquired late in the 2012 season, cleared waivers and is now a free agent.