Sodo Mojo’s Mariners Trade Deadline Plan
Trade #2: Wyatt Mills and Bryson Brigman for Seth Lugo
One of the few consensus selections during this process, Seth Lugo is an ultra-intriguing RHP. The 28-year-old is currently being used as a swingman by the New York Mets. He is excelling in the “Chris Devinski” style role and could be insanely valuable down the stretch for Seattle.
Lugo has appeared in 29 games for the Mets in 2018, including 5 as a starter. In his 66 innings pitched, Lugo has posted a solid 3.42 FIP and 9.4 K/9. Lugo also has a long track-record as a strike thrower, posting a career 2.6 BB/9 rate.
Lugo is well known for the spin rate on his curveball, making it one of the better pitches in Major League Baseball. He primarily relies on his 93 MPH fastball to go along with the strong curveball. He does have a changeup and slider, but he rarely uses either.
Lugo still has a full season before he reaches arbitration, giving him 4 years of club control for the Mariners. The Mariners are really going to need to protect their rotation down the stretch. Unfortunately, there has been little movement on the starting pitching market thus far, and prices are widely considered to be “ridiculous” right now.
Taking these factors into account, we decided to be creative and find an innings eater who may, or may not, be a starting pitcher. 31 of Lugo’s 65 career appearances have come as a starter. The Mariners could transition him back to the rotation, or they could get creative.
Of his 24 relief appearances, Lugo has gone more than 1 inning 15 times. Do you follow our train of thought? Here’s an example:
Marco Gonzalez will need to be shut down, or have his innings severely cut before the end of 2018. So instead of adding an expensive starter to cover 6 innings, pair Marco Gonzalez with Seth Lugo. Marco throws 3 innings, Lugo throws 3. It keeps Marco fresh down the stretch, but also doesn’t shut him down completely.
We saw the Mariners do this last season with Marco Gonzalez and Andrew Moore, so it is already an idea that Seattle would consider.
Acquiring a 28-year-old with 4 years of club control and starter potential wouldn’t be cheap. The Mets will want potential impact who should be MLB ready soon. Wyatt Mills could be ready by the 2019 season. The Steve Cishek-esque pitcher was a third-round pick of the Mariners in 2017 and should find himself in AA soon.
Bryson Brigman is another 3rd round pick of Dipoto, who is having a breakout season in High A Modesto. A smooth defender, Brigman appears to be on the fast track to be a utility man down the line. If his bat continues to develop, he could become an every day second baseman.
Finding starting pitching will be difficult, particularly if Dipoto doesn’t wish to go down the rental route. Trading for a guy like Lugo adds another potential starter down the line, and a solid bullpen saver right now.