The Padres lost Nick Martinez earlier this offseason and now they’ve lost Seth Lugo, who is signing a three-year, $45 million contract with the Kansas City Royals.
Right-hander Seth Lugo and the Kansas City Royals are in agreement on a three-year, $45 million contract, a source told ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 12, 2023
Lugo posted a 3.57 ERA in his one season with the Padres and then didn’t take his $7.5 million player option because he knew he could land a contract like this. The 34-year-old made 26 starts and went over 140 innings for what was supposed to be a contending Padres club.
Him being able to last as a starter arm health wise was the big question and he passed that test. The only IL stint he had was due to a calf strain in May.
I wonder if Lugo would’ve accepted this offer from San Diego if it was offered. The problem is the Padres aren’t in a spot to give him $15 million a year. I mean they are but they aren’t. You know what I mean.
According to Spotrac, the Padres are at $203,673,678, which is $33,326,322 away from the $237 million CBT threshold. So giving Lugo $15 million a year would’ve taken up almost half of what is left for San Diego to spend AAV wise.
And while Lugo’s a good pitcher, A.J. Preller still would’ve needed to find another starter, two outfielders, a first base bat and another high leverage reliever if Lugo signed back.
It seems like San Diego will prefer to bring in a starter who’s on a shorter deal worth less money per year than $15 million. Alex Wood, Sean Manaea, Mike Clevinger, Carlos Carrasco, Corey Kluber, James Paxton, Frankie Montas, Jack Flaherty and Tyler Mahle are some names that likely fit this category.