Word comes today from the New York Post that free agent infielder Julio Lugo grew up a Mets fan and will "definitely" consider the club if they’re interested. He’s open to second base or shortstop for his new team.
Last year, Lugo’s age 29 season, looked like a career year for the shortstop. He hit .295/.362/.403 and was the fifth best shortstop in baseball according to Baseball Prospectus. This season, in an injury-shortened 72 games with the Devil Rays, Lugo hit .308/.373/.498. All three marks are career bests.
At the trading deadline, the Dodgers sent promising young prosect Joel Guzman to the Devil Rays for Lugo. Lugo’s been a terrible hitter for L.A. while playing 2B, 3B, and even a little OF. It was a curious trade for Los Angeles.
As the easy choice for the best shortstop on the market, Lugo should command upwards of four years and $40MM. It would be surprising to see the Mets pay that kind of money for a second baseman, so Lugo would probably have to give a hometown discount to become a Met. Several teams are going to entertain the possibility of Lugo as their next shortstop. Possibilities include the Red Sox, Blue Jays, White Sox, and Reds. The smart money is on the Red Sox or Jays.
There was some ugliness involving Lugo and his wife in 2003. The Astros instantly demoted Lugo after he reportedly assaulted his wife. He was later found innocent after Mabely Lugo changed her story.