The San Diego Padres are finalizing a deal with veteran right-hander and free agent Seth Lugo, reports Jon Heyman. According to Fabian Ardaya, Lugo's contract will be for two years and a bit more than $15 million and will include an opt-out after the 2023 season. Heyman adds that Lugo is expected to contend for a rotation spot with the Padres.
Lugo, a 33-year-old Mets lifer until this point, is coming off a 2022 season in which he pitched to a 3.60 ERA/108 ERA+ and a K/BB ratio of 3.83 in 62 relief appearances for New York. For his career, Lugo owns an ERA+ of 115 and a K/BB ratio of 3.71 across parts of seven MLB seasons.
While he's been a primary reliever for the past half-decade, Lugo has made 38 starts in his career, seven of which came during the abbreviated 2020 season. As a starter, Lugo has a 4.35 ERA and a 3.28 K/BB ratio for his career. That's versus an ERA of 2.91 and a K/BB ratio of 3.98 for his career when working out of the bullpen.
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In San Diego, Lugo it seems will compete for a spot in the rotation behind Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove, and Blake Snell. Other leading candidates to start for the Padres include Nick Martinez and Adrian Morejon. Should he fail to crack the starting five, Lugo figures to provide bullpen depth from the right side and swingman capabilities.
In 2023, the Padres, who fell to the Phillies in the NLCS, will be attempting to make consecutive trips to the playoffs for the first time since 2005-06. To that end, San Deigo earlier this winter signed shortstop Xander Bogaerts to a $280 million free-agent contract.