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Potential Twins Bullpen Target: Seth Lugo, RHP, Mets

It's no secret, the Twins will be seeking bullpen help as the trade deadline approaches. The current group of relievers has helped get the Twins where they are, but let's face it, there is plenty of evidence that suggests upgrades are required. Who may be available? Today, we'll take a look at Seth Lugo of the Mets.
Image courtesy of © Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Seth Lugo, RHP, 29-years-old
New York Mets (33-34 in NL East)
Three more years of team control via arbitration.

2019: 2.51 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 11.69 K/9, 1.59 BB/9 in 32.1 IP
2018: 2.66 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 9.15 K/9, 2.49 BB/9 in 101.1 IP (5 games started)

What’s to Like?
Lugo is a good, not great, reliever that would fit in nicely as a bridge between the starters and eighth or ninth inning guys and could come at a relatively cheap cost. That said, he has effectively pitched a majority of the games in the eighth inning for the Met, so the potential is there for him to come in during a high leverage situation.



He is right around league average in his K rate, hard hit rate and xwOBA, and has been very good at limiting free passes as a reliever. As laid out in this article, he also has reverse splits by dominating lefties this year which is something the Twins bullpen is in need of.

Concerns
Being eligible for arbitration makes him more valuable, and more expensive, than if he were a half year rental. That said, that could also benefit the Twins if he does well. The biggest area of concern would be Lugo’s strand rate with runners in scoring position. Per FanGraphs, he has a 69.4 percent strand rate overall which includes an 80.0 percent rate in “high leverage” situations and just a 9.4 percent (!!!!) rate with men in scoring position. With men in scoring position, his K/9 stays about the same (11.81) but his BB/9 more than doubles (5.06).

This could indicate that, with runners on, Lugo is dancing around the strike zone a little more trying to miss bats and get hitters to chase. Something a simple change in philosophy could cure in a matter of no time.

Regardless of the concerns, I do think this is one of the better, cheaper options for the Twins to pursue.

See Also
Greg Holland, RHP, Diamondbacks
Sean Doolittle, LHP, Nationals
Kirby Yates, RHP, Padres
10 Relievers Minnesota Could Target


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11 Comments

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In My La-Z-boy
Jun 14 2019 11:25 AM

It will be interesting to see what we decide to do. All in - give up some high upside talent - or dip our toes in - and give up no one we will miss? Go bold or hedge your bets? Also be interesting to see how long we wait? Something cooking in the next couple weeks - or do we wait until midnight 7/31? We'll get a real window into the minds of our new leadership on this one. Our line up 1-9 is a world series contender. I see no reason to mess around the edges here. Get us 2 stoppers and give up whichever prospects necessary. We can win it this year with a 2015 Royals type BP.

    • adorduan and DocBauer like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Jun 14 2019 12:34 PM

I'd add him if the Mets are selling.

Sign me up! Lugo in addition to guy like Greene or Smith would make for a good haul.
    • DocBauer and Ben Noble like this
Why are the Mets selling? Especially beyond this year? I think this deal would be more expensive than you think.
    • ashbury and MN_ExPat like this

Why are the Mets selling? Especially beyond this year? I think this deal would be more expensive than you think.


The Mets are below .500, and are exactly as close to the 2nd worse team in the NL as they are to the second wild card.
Of course, there's always a chance they go on a hot streak, but most likely they're clear sellers come trade deadline.
    • Ben Noble likes this
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Homer Hanky
Jun 14 2019 04:17 PM

I think we need two arms for the pen ... I hope they go get the best two arms they can that will help beyond this year... 

 

SKOL TWINS 

    • Danchat and DocBauer like this

It will be interesting to see what we decide to do. All in - give up some high upside talent - or dip our toes in - and give up no one we will miss? Go bold or hedge your bets? Also be interesting to see how long we wait? Something cooking in the next couple weeks - or do we wait until midnight 7/31? We'll get a real window into the minds of our new leadership on this one. Our line up 1-9 is a world series contender. I see no reason to mess around the edges here. Get us 2 stoppers and give up whichever prospects necessary. We can win it this year with a 2015 Royals type BP.


Just my opinion, the FO will wait for a few weeks to see what they have. In other words, seeing if May settles down and finds his breaking ball again, see it Littell's transition and new velocity can help, etc. But cracks in the pen are there and obvious, so they won't wait until until the last minute either.

The FO seems to usually make moves with the future in mind and would undoubtedly want to add at least 1 arm with an extended stay in mind. They have also been willing to take on $ in many deals. But when you consider some of the signings last season, and Schoop this year, they don't seem opposed to a short term acquisition either.

While I don't know names, I'm guessing a rental and someone else with at least another year under control.
    • In My La-Z-boy likes this
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Aerodeliria
Jun 15 2019 09:06 AM
So Lugo is a left-handed version of Harper? I'm not complaining; I'm seriously asking.

 

So Lugo is a left-handed version of Harper? I'm not complaining; I'm seriously asking.

Sounds like it. Just try to bring him in at the start of an inning, and not when runners are on base. I like the low walks, and the effectiveness against lefties. I think the team is better with him, but they still need another reliable arm. 

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Matthew Lenz
Jun 15 2019 02:25 PM

 

Why are the Mets selling? Especially beyond this year? I think this deal would be more expensive than you think.

On top of what Mr. Brooks said, you have to understand that teams don't want to be in the middle.They either want to be contending for a World Series or #1 over draft pick.Specifically right now, when there are 3-4 teams that are clearly better than everyone else...do you really want to fight for a wild card spot when you have little chance of winning it all?I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to that question, but something that FO's are considering...

If you clear out some of the prospects that will be rule 5 eligible it would be a great trade.


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