Chicago Cubs Rumors: Seth Lugo Could Be A Viable Option
The 2022 World Series has concluded, and many players have become free agents. That said, the free-agent market is full of talent, and it will be interesting to see who the Chicago Cubs go for this winter. Though the Cubs faced many issues in 2022, something the club didn’t have to worry about was their bullpen. Over the last few years, the Chicago Cubs have garnered success by signing veteran relievers to low-cost, high-reward deals.
Examples of this success include Ryan Tepera, David Robertson, Jeremy Jeffress, and Mychael Givens. Each of these veterans did not disappoint during their time on the North Side; in some cases, their tenure in Chicago went even better than expected. Following this pattern, it makes sense that the Cubs would want to make deals with veteran relievers available in this year’s free-agent market.
In all honesty, a good portion of the 2023 bullpen will probably be made up of guys in the organization already. After all, if it ain't broke, don’t fix it. But, the bullpen is not ready to be entirely homegrown just yet, though president of baseball operations Jed Hoyers hopes it will be someday soon.
Keeping that in mind and considering their success with veteran relievers, you could bet on the Cubs adding some to the mix. Though a few guys on the free-agent market fit this bill, one name that comes to mind is right-hander Seth Lugo.
Signing Veteran Reliever Lugo Could Benefit The Chicago Cubs
The 32-year-old Lugo spent all seven of his major league seasons with the New York Mets. Though he began his career as a starting pitcher, he transitioned into a reliever and has exclusively worked out of the bullpen over the last two seasons.
Besides that, the former 34th-round pick out of Centenary College became an integral piece of the Mets bullpen, and he would provide late-inning depth anywhere he lands. A Louisiana native, Lugo finished last season with a 3.60 ERA, 69 strikeouts, and 18 walks across 65 innings of work. Throughout his career, he has owned a 3.48 ERA and repeatedly proved himself to be a reliable set-up man.
In addition, as a veteran, Lugo has an abundance of late-inning experience from his time in Queens and that would prove to be valuable to a squad of youngsters like the Cubs. As mentioned earlier, the Cubs faced many issues last season, but one of them was not their bullpen. That said, the Cubs will want to spend money to fix their glaring matters and less on the pen.
A benefit of signing Lugo is that the move would not require shelling out a hefty contract. Sure, Lugo would probably not act as the Cubs’ closer, but, he would be valuable in his clubhouse presence, and he could get high-leverage outs late in ballgames.