The San Diego Padres and right-hander Seth Lugo are finalizing a two-year contract, a source confirmed to ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Monday.
The deal is worth about $15 million, with an opt-out after 2023, according to The Athletic.
Lugo, 33, pitched primarily out of the New York Mets’ bullpen over the past seven years but had been drawing interest as a potential starting pitcher on the free agent market and might fit into the Padres’ rotation next season.
The Padres have only three solidified spots in their rotation at the moment, with Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish and Blake Snell.
Nick Martinez, brought back on a three-year, $26 million contract, also is penciled in as a starter but provides the versatility to serve as a reliever. Adrian Morejon, 23, projects as a starting pitcher but might benefit from additional seasoning in the minor leagues. The Lugo addition provides additional flexibility with both those pitchers.
Lugo has made 108 appearances out of the Mets’ bullpen over the past two years, posting a 3.56 ERA with 124 strikeouts and 37 walks in 111⅓ innings. Standing 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, Lugo relieves heavily on his curveball-fastball combination but can also mix in a sinker and slider. He worked primarily as a starting pitcher in 2017, posting a 4.71 ERA in 101⅓ innings, and also made seven starts during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Angels were among the teams also rumored to be interested in Lugo. The New York Post first reported his agreement with the Padres.