The San Diego Padres and pitcher Seth Lugo have tentatively reached an agreement on a two-year contract worth $15 million, according to multiple sources.
The contract is for $7.5 million each year and includes a player option after the first year, according to MLB insider Jon Heyman.
Lugo, who just turned 33, had spent the entirety of his career with the New York Mets before reaching free agency this offseason.
Across 62 appearances with the Mets in 2022, Lugo went 3-2 with a 3.60 ERA and a 9.6 K/9 rate. While Lugo has worked primarily as a reliever with the Mets most recently, it is anticipated that the Padres will have him join their starting rotation behind Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove, and Nick Martinez to start the 2023 season.
The Padres will also have the flexibility to deploy Lugo as a reliever, similar to the role that Martinez played for the team in 2022.
In Lugo’s last full season as a starter, he went 7-5 with a 4.71 ERA across 18 starts with the Mets in 2017.
In 38 career starts, Lugo is 15-10 with a 4.35 ERA in 194 2/3 career innings. As a reliever, Lugo has demonstrated more success, posting a 2.91 ERA across 300 career innings.
Once the deal between Lugo and San Diego becomes official, the Padres will have tentatively filled out their preliminary starting rotation for 2023. While the Padres are likely seeking more depth to supplant their rotation, this move likely takes them out of the running for the remaining “high-profile” starting pitcher, such as former Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi.
With the signing of Lugo, it is undetermined how the Padres will allocate their remaining resources to fill out the roster.
While the rotation is starting to come into focus, the Padres might also be expected to make one or more signings to fill out their starting lineup and bench. The Padres payroll currently hovers around $240 million, with the luxury tax figure pushing that number north of $260 million.