Chicago Cubs Rumors: Team maintaining interest in right-hander Seth Lugo
By Jake Misener
A new name has emerged amongst the young starters the Chicago Cubs are keeping tabs on in New York Mets’ right-hander Seth Lugo.
Last week, the Chicago Cubs kicked off deadline season by acquiring Jose Quintana in a blockbuster deal that sent Dylan Cease and Eloy Jimenez to the White Sox. Since then, the reigning World Series champs have been linked to a bevy of players, including Alex Avila, Justin Verlander and AJ Ramos, to name a few.
Kyle Hendricks made his return to the starting rotation this week, as well, shoring up a pitching staff that looked to be a glaring link in the Cubs’ armor. But, at least according to one report, Chicago maintains an eye on starters heading into the deadline.
Wait, what’s this? An underrated pitcher who hasn’t lived up to his potential? Pairing him with Chris Bosio? Stop me if this sounds familiar.
Lugo, 27 years of age, has started eight games with the Mets this year, pitching to a 4.10 ERA and 4.25 FIP. He made his big-league debut in 2016 with New York, splitting his time between the rotation and bullpen. As a whole, he posted an impressive 2.67 ERA and 1.094 ERA across 64 innings of work.
Promising, to be sure.
Mets not ready to sell?
As Marc Carig points out, though, dealing a young, controllable starter doesn’t exactly make sense for the Mets. The pitching injuries continue to mount in the Big Apple. A rotation that once seemed on the brink of dynastic is practically in shambles.
But, as we know, everyone has a price. If the Cubs want Lugo badly enough, they’ll find a way to make it happen (within reason). Don’t expect an overpay from Theo and Jed. It’s just not going to happen.
In his minor league career, spanning six seasons, Lugo pitched more than 100 innings three times. He’s spent portions of 2017 with both Double-A and Triple-A, working to a 4.61 ERA, 1.348 WHIP and 2.43 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
I, personally, don’t consider Lugo someone you’d be comfortable with sticking in a big-league rotation. He needs to work out some kinks before you trust him, especially on a playoff-caliber club. But young arms are at a premium and if you don’t have them in your own system, you’ve got to do what it takes to add them to the mix.
Next: The Anderson experiment draws to a quiet close
Rumors like this are hit-or-miss. Here’s what I take from it (and it’s an obvious conclusion). The Cubs are keeping tabs on young arms on struggling teams. Few will be surprised at such news.
This isn’t anything new – nor should it come as a shock to anyone.