Atlanta Braves now leading race to acquire fantastic free agent to three year deal

The Atlanta Braves have emerged as one of the teams expressing keen interest in the services of free-agent right-handed starter, Seth Lugo, as reported by Jon Heyman of the New York Post. Lugo, a seasoned player with a seven-season stint with the Mets, recently made a surprising shift from his traditional role as a reliever to a starting pitcher during his time with the San Diego Padres in the previous season.

Throughout the 2023 season, Lugo showcased impressive performance metrics, demonstrating his adaptability to the starting role. His stats included a commendable 3.57 ERA, a 3.83 FIP, a 3.76 xFIP, and an impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio of nearly 4-to-1, spanning across 146 innings. Particularly noteworthy was Lugo’s fastball, ranking in the 97th percentile in value despite having an average velocity, according to Baseball Savant. Although his off-speed pitches did not stand out, Lugo excelled in inducing ground balls, boasting a 45.2% ground ball rate that tied him for the 20th spot among all starting pitchers.


The Braves, evidently active in the free-agent market for starting pitchers, have been previously linked to pitchers like Aaron Nola and Sonny Gray. Despite missing out on Nola, who returned to the Philadelphia Phillies, the Braves continue their pursuit of bolstering their pitching rotation. The potential addition of Lugo to the Braves’ roster aligns with their ongoing efforts to strengthen the team.

Alex Anthopolous, the Braves’ general manager, is now faced with the decision of whether to pursue the unconventional path presented by Lugo. The right-hander is reportedly seeking a three-year deal, a commitment that adds another layer of consideration for the Braves’ front office. As the Braves navigate the complexities of the offseason, the outcome of their pursuit of Lugo remains uncertain, but the interest in the experienced starter suggests a strategic move to fortify their pitching staff.

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