Royals sign RHP Seth Lugo to two-year Major League contract

December 14th, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The Kansas City Royals announced today that they have signed right-handed pitcher Seth Lugo to a two-year Major League contract, with a player option for 2026. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Lugo, 34, worked exclusively as a starter for the first time in 2023 and set career highs in several categories with San Diego, including wins (8), games started (26), innings pitched (146.1) and strikeouts (140), while walking just 36 batters and posting a 3.57 ERA (58 ER in 146.1 IP). He ranked 9th among National League starting pitchers with a 2.21 BB/9 rate and 6.0 BB% (min. 25 starts).

Among pitchers with at least 25 starts in 2023, his 65.4% quality start rate ranked 5th highest in Major League Baseball, trailing only American League Cy Young Award winner Gerrit Cole (72.7%), San Francisco’s Logan Webb (72.7%), Cubs southpaw Justin Steele (66.7%) and Philadelphia’s Zack Wheeler (65.6%).

Since the start of 2022, his breaking balls have an average spin rate of 3,054 rpm, the 2nd-highest spin rate on breaking balls (min. 1,500 breaking balls thrown) behind only Charlie Morton (3,079 rpm).

Lugo made 26 starts from 2016-17 with the New York Mets but transitioned to a primary bullpen role in 2018 and remained there through the 2022 season, making just 12 starts over a five-year span. A veteran of eight Major League seasons, the right hander has amassed 40 wins, 648 strikeouts and a career 3.50 ERA (249 ER in 641.0 IP) over 301 appearances (64 starts).

He made 3 appearances in the 2022 Wild Card series with the Mets, spinning 2.0 scoreless innings and earning the save in Game 2 vs. San Diego.

Lugo was originally selected by the Mets in the 34th round of the 2011 Draft out of Centenary College of Louisiana and was signed by Mets scout Tommy Jackson.