This coming offseason, if the New York Mets are going to extend any of their players, one of them must be the club’s top relief pitcher Seth Lugo.
Going into the offseason, with the pending sale of the New York Mets to billionaire Steve Cohen, the talk of the town has been which “big name” free agents they plan on going after, or if they plan on extending any of their current stars, such as Michael Conforto or Noah Syndergaard prior to their walk years.
However, I believe that along with those two, the Mets would be well suited to extend another one of their top players, and that man is right-handed pitcher, Seth Lugo.
Although originally called up to the big leagues as a starting pitcher, Lugo has transitioned to the bullpen the majority of his major league career, and since 2018, Seth was arguably the top hand out of the pen.
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The team would often turn to in close games and high-pressure situations, going as far as to anoint him the teams closer in the tail end of the 2019 season due to Edwin Diaz’s struggles.
Far more often than not, Lugo delivered, and over his 5-year career, compiled an ERA of 2.53 in 129 relief appearances spanning 188.2 innings. He’s also proven to be a solid option in the starting rotation, owning a 4.35 ERA through 38 career starts with the Mets.
Year after year, one of the consistent issues New York faces is getting consistent outings out of their relief pitchers. Routinely, the Mets have some of the worst bullpen ERAs of any team in the MLB, meaning that hanging on to any reliable reliever they do have is paramount.
Lugo is still under team control for two more seasons, however, year after year, other teams have shown they are willing to pay top dollar for a good hand out of the pen, and the longer the Mets wait, the higher Lugo’s price tag may go if he keeps up his performance.
While re-signing a top set up man may not be the most blockbuster of moves for a team to make under new ownership, the front office may be better off doing it now than risk Lugo walking in 2 years time.
He has proven time after time that he can be trusted to get the big outs late in a game, and following Edwin Diaz’s apparent rebound in 2020, having the two of them together for the 8th and 9th innings for years to come could turn a historic weakness for the franchise into one of the club’s strengths for years to come
They do have a few years with Lugo still under team control to work out an extension, but it may be best to strike while the iron is hot, as with every out Lugo gets for the Mets over the next few years, the higher his asking price will likely be.
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Do you think the Mets should sign Seth Lugo to an extension?