10 Under the Radar Trade Targets for Mariners: 10-6

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 11: Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto watches batting practice before a game between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 11, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Rangers won the game 2-1 in eleven innings. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 11: Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto watches batting practice before a game between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 11, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Rangers won the game 2-1 in eleven innings. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
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10. Seth Lugo, RP New York Mets

SEATTLE, WA – JULY 30: Starter Seth Lugo #67 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning of an interleague game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on July 30, 2017, in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA – JULY 30: Starter Seth Lugo #67 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning of an interleague game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on July 30, 2017, in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /

If you follow the National League, you’ll know who Seth Lugo is. He may be the most underrated reliever in all of baseball. In 2019, all he did was throw 80 innings and post an 11.70 K/9, a 1.80 BB/, a 2.70 FIP, and a 2.2 fWAR. In 80 innings.

On top of all this, Lugo has starters experience, has 3 full seasons of club control left, turns 30 in November, and has one of the nastiest curveballs in the entire game. Lugo hasn’t gotten a chance to close and may be better suited for the multi-inning role he current presides, but he may be just as good, if not better, than Edwin Diaz.

Of course, his current team, the New York Mets, knows all of this too and may not be interested in parting ways with their ace reliever. But the Mets have post-season plans in 2020 and have several holes in their lineup and don’t have a ton of payroll flexibility to go buy what they need.

The Mets have a solid farm system, but thanks to the Robinson Cano and Diaz trade, as well as the Marcus Stroman deal, it has taken a hit over the past year. Trading Lugo may be a necessary evil for the Mets and that could spell a great opportunity for the Mariners.

It is a bit unusual to spend resources on a bullpen piece in the middle of a rebuild, but Lugo may be an exception. For starters, the club control allows the acquiring team to trade him again if necessary.

Lugo is unlikely to go into the tank and should retain some value over the next 3 seasons. And if the Mariners can reach their 2021 goal, having a high-leverage ace on the roster could make things a lot easier.

It is unlikely the Mets deal Lugo and even more unlikely the Mariners would be willing to pay the freight it would take to get the Mets to change their mind. But if the opportunity comes knocking, Dipoto should greet them at the door. After all, it already worked once.

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