The Los Angeles Dodgers -- and stop me if you've heard this one before -- need to come away from this offseason with as much pitching depth as humanly possible.
That should include a few bounce-back candidates on deals that only the Dodgers can pay them. A few Mark Prior projects -- preferably hometown boys Lucas Giolito and Jack Flaherty? -- would be warranted and necessary. But ... sigh ... it would also be nice to hit a few home runs along the way, too. The Dodgers can't close the door on the market saying, "We nabbed five potential No. 4s with a No. 2 ceiling!" They need to know who gets the ball in Game 3 of a playoff series. Full stop.
And while Padres right-hander Seth Lugo might not be the flashiest name in the pool with Lance Lynn fire behind his eyes, he silently got a significant job done last summer in San Diego. Now wisely testing the market again, Lugo will likely encounter a notable group of suitors, and you can already count the Dodgers among them.
Per FanSided's Robert Murray, more than half the league has checked in on Lugo, an estimate confirmed by KPRC 2's Ari Alexander, who noted the Dodgers' interest. We know Los Angeles is equipped to win the bidding. Do they love a player two-thirds of the league loves more than any other franchise does?
Dodgers Free Agency: Interest in righty Seth Lugo
The 34-year-old Lugo is probably in line for a multi-year pact (you think?), considering most of MLB is after his services. A three-year deal at $15 million AAV would seem like a reasonable contract ... as well as a bargain, considering Luis Severino was deemed worthy of $13 million for a single season after posting an ERA that licked 7.00.
Let's be kind and give Lugo three years and $50 million to see if that differentiates the Dodgers from the pack. Last year, he was worth 1.8 bWAR and got over the innings hump as a converted reliever, totaling 146.1 in San Diego. He struck out 140 and used his fastball and exceptional curve in near equal parts to keep hitters guessing. Shockingly, the fastball was far more effective last season (97th percentile in run value), and his curve now must catch back up (16th percentile in breaking run value).
What's that sound? A project for Prior embedded within a working arsenal? Sounds like the best of both worlds for LA.