The Los Angeles Dodgers have been connected to several starting pitchers in free agency this offseason, but to this point their only moves have been re-signing Clayton Kershaw to a one-year contract and adding Noah Syndergaard.
Meanwhile, L.A. is said to have interest in New York Mets free agent Seth Lugo. Lugo and Syndergaard fit the mold of what Dodgers manager Dave Roberts acknowledged the club is seeking this offseason — additions similar to Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney that paid off.
According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Dodgers remain interested in signing Lugo, who is looking for an opportunity to start rather than pitch out of the bullpen:
Phillies showed interest in Seth Lugo but likely as a reliever. He prefers to start. Padres, Dodgers, Nats among other suitors.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 15, 2022
The Dodgers having interest in Lugo remains even after the signing of Syndergaard, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
Dodgers one of multiple teams in mix for free-agent right-hander Seth Lugo, sources tell me and @FabianArdaya. LAD most likely would build up Lugo to start, viewing him as added depth for rotation. If their young starters perform, they could always move him back to bullpen.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 18, 2022
Lugo last was a full-time member of a rotation in 2017, when he made a career-high 18 starts for the Mets. Lugo otherwise has been utilized in a relief role by New York, and largely done so successfully.
From 2018-2022, he went 20-17 with 16 saves, a 3.25 ERA, 122 ERA+, 3.40 FIP and 1.11 WHIP across 239 games (12 starts). Lugo last was part of the Mets rotation in 2020, when he started seven of 16 overall appearances during the shortened season.
Do the Dodgers need to sign Seth Lugo?
Even with Kershaw returning and the signing of Syndergaard, the Dodgers stand to benefit from adding more depth to their starting rotation.
The current outlook projects Syndergaard to be their fifth starter, and the likes of Ryan Pepiot, Andre Jackson and Michael Grove waiting in the wings as depth.
Signing Lugo would provide the Dodgers with another pitcher who has MLB experience and versatility to potentially be a swingman.
If Lugo joins the Dodgers as a starter, it could signal an early willingness to utilize a six-man rotation, or potentially ease Dustin May into his first full season back from Tommy John surgery.
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