Seth Lugo has not known another organization other than the New York Mets since being selected in the 34th round of the 2011 MLB Draft. Now at the age of 33, Lugo finds himself as a free agent for the first time in his professional career and his journey through free agency is going to be an interesting one to watch.
Lugo was emotional at the conclusion of the 2022 season as he addressed the media and he mentioned he went out to the playing field one last time as he was soaking in what may be his final season in Queens. Since Lugo has officially become a free agent there has been no public interest made known by the Mets front office in regards to a reunion between both parties.
While Lugo has had his fair share of elbow problems including dealing with a partially torn UCL as well as having an operation on two bone spurs last offseason, he made 62 appearances for the Mets out of the bullpen in 2022 while posting a 3.60 ERA, a 1.169 WHIP, and three saves. It is a bit curious why the Mets haven't had much interest as of yet in bringing Lugo back in a middle relief role as they look to reconstruct almost their entire bullpen from last season.
Despite the Mets not showing interest in bringing back Seth Lugo, his market is far from cold around the league
With teams around the league viewing Lugo as both a starter and a reliever it certainly will only increase his market value as well as the number of teams who will be interested in a potential deal with him this winter. According to The Athletic’s Will Sammon, there are over a dozen teams who are checking in on the right-handed pitcher. As of right now the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox are two of the organizations that have shown public interest in Lugo.
While the Mets may not have much interest in Lugo there are certainly numerous other organizations that currently do. What's fascinating about Lugo's market to this point is that some of these organizations that are showing interest are viewing Lugo as a starting pitcher rather than a reliever. It's important to remember that originally Lugo came up as starting pitcher back in 2017 and over his seven seasons in the Majors Lugo has made 38 career starts. However, Lugo hasn't officially started a game since 2020.
It's hard to predict what kind of deal Lugo may receive this winter as he's a unique case in terms of teams being split on whether to sign him as a starting pitcher or a reliever. With almost half of the league already showing interest in signing him I don't believe it will be long before he puts his pen to paper and locks in a deal, and it could happen as soon as the upcoming Winter Meetings.
While I believe Lugo's best value to a team is in the bullpen I can see a team desperate for starting pitching rolling the dice on Lugo as a member of their rotation next season. I don't believe the Mets will be the team that signs Lugo this offseason as it appears they are looking to add some new blood to their bullpen.
My prediction is Seth Lugo signs a three-year $24 million deal with the Boston Red Sox who will utilize him as a starting pitcher and if all else fails he can become a dependable arm out of their bullpen.