7. Seth Lugo (left the New York Mets to sign with the San Diego Padres)
Lugo was part of the Mets’ Big Three of relievers last year, as he proved to be a reliable seventh inning option in Buck Showalter’s bullpen, pitching to a 3.60 ERA in 65 innings. Now he joined a different World Series contender this winter in San Diego, as he agreed to a two-year, $15 million deal with the Padres with an option. Lugo wanted another opportunity to start after spending three of the last four years exclusively in the bullpen, and he is currently slated to be the fifth starter in a deep, veteran-infested rotation for the Padres.
6. Kenley Jansen (left the Atlanta Braves to sign with the Boston Red Sox)
It might be fair to say Jansen had a bad year according to his norms last year (3.38 ERA), but he led the National League with 41 saves and 54 games finished with the Braves last year. Over his career, he has a 2.46 ERA, 391 saves, and 13 strikeouts per nine innings. Now he’ll close for the Red Sox over the next two years on a $32 million deal with a task to help turn around what was an ineffective bullpen last season that ranked 26th in ERA and 21st in WHIP.
5. William Contreras (traded by the Atlanta Braves to the Milwaukee Brewers)
The Braves traded the National League All-Star starting catcher to the Milwaukee Brewers as part of a massive three-team trade that included the Oakland A’s in December, and with it gave Edwin Diaz sole possession of Timmy Trumpets in the division. But he will be a big bopper in the middle of a Brewers’ lineup that needed replacements for Hunter Renfroe and Andrew McCutchen. Contreras had a 138 OPS+ and 20 home runs last year in 376 at-bats.
4. Pablo Lopez (traded by the Miami Marlins to the Minnesota Twins)
The Marlins are trusting the depth of their starting pitching this season as they traded a really good starting pitcher Pablo Lopez to the Minnesota Twins to upgrade their lineup with Luis Arraez. Lopez had a Cy Young caliber season if you take out his starts against the Mets (9.53 ERA in 22.2 innings vs. the Mets last season and 2.92 ERA in 157.1 innings against everyone else). The Twins needed a frontline starter and Lopez gives them that. Rocco Baldelli must remember that the Mets own him come September when the Mets visit Target Field.