Fan-favorite reliever currently not a bullpen target for the Mets

Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game One
Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game One / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Billy Eppler has a lot of work to do this offseason. No place is emptier than the New York Mets bullpen. Edwin Diaz is back. Drew Smith remains under contract, too. The rest is anyone’s guess. According to the latest Mets rumors, the relief corps might not include a longtime fan fan-favorite.

At least for now, it seems as if the Mets will be looking at relievers not named Seth Lugo. It makes sense. As wonderful of a pitcher as Lugo has been, he comes with a risk of getting hurt at any moment. He has managed to stay relatively healthy during his time with the ball club which should still have teams eyeing him as an answer for their bullpens in 2023.

Unless different Mets rumors say otherwise, it doesn’t look like it will be Queens where he plays.

Mets rumors point toward the team moving on from reliever Seth Lugo

Lugo’s relationship with the Mets, despite there being regime changes during his tenure, might not be so solid. His frustration at not being able to start more earlier on in his career could have soured how he felt about remaining in New York. These Mets rumors from Mike Puma don’t show his side of the story. Nevertheless, Lugo didn’t seem like a priority for the ball club.

Next week is Lugo’s 33rd birthday which puts him “up there” in age as far as a first-time free agent goes. He good but not brilliant the past two seasons with the Mets. An ERA of 3.50 in 2021 and slightly higher at 3.60 in 2022 make him less of a specialized weapon we once knew him as and more of a one-inning guy.

Lugo’s days of pitching multiple innings in relief seem to be behind him. It’s a shame. Seeing him get six outs in an appearance is what made many fans fall in love with him. Buck Showalter did use him at times for more than a frame in 2022. In those cases, a pitch-count of about 30 is about as far as he would be pushed.

Where do the Mets go from here? With other key free agent relievers now lost, it sounds like Eppler is separating all of the options into two piles. He’s organizing everyone into two piles. One are the “keepers” and the other will be thanked for their service. Lugo may still spark joy for some fans. Based on the latest Mets rumors, it’s not the front office—for now.

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