During the offseason, the only thing better than landing a player you want is beating out a rival for a player.
That's what the San Diego Padres did by signing pitcher Seth Lugo on Monday. Not only did they help their team, but they also kept him away from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Seth Lugo Padres
Lugo, 33, was one of the more desirable arms remaining on the free-agent market after a successful seven-year run with the New York Mets. The veteran right-hander proved to be one of the more reliable relievers in baseball as well as a solid spot starter during that time, going 32-24 with a 3.48 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in just under 500 innings.
While Lugo became more of a traditional one-inning reliever during the past two seasons, he can still start in a pinch if needed. The Dodgers were hoping to add him to help replace some of the pitching depth they've lost to free agency this winter, only to have the Padres swoop in and snag him with a two-year, $15 million contract.
Given how aggressive San Diego has been this offseason, it was hardly surprising. Padres GM A.J. Preller isn't afraid to do what it takes to get deals done, even if it means going over the top (see Bogaerts, Xander).
Now the Dodgers will likely have to face Lugo several times next year, potentially late in the season during critical games. They can only hope that missing out on him doesn't come back to haunt them.