Update: The Red Sox have designated Julio Lugo for assignment. With money and years no longer a hangup, I see no reason why the Mets should not attempt to sign him. With that said, I’d imagine Lugo would probably prefer to go a contender, and the Mets currently are Pretenders at best until they prove otherwise.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports the Red Sox desperately want to move Julio Lugo as Jed Lowrie and Mike Lowell return from the DL. The Sox also need to make room for Clay Bucholz tonight.
Julio Lugo has been linked to the Mets in the past, and has his pluses and minuses.
“The problem with Lugo’s trade value — besides his erratic defense since returning from knee surgery — is his contract. Lugo, 33, is owed the remainder of his $9 million salary this season, plus $9 million next season. The Sox have been trying to move him since last off-season.
Lugo is batting .284 with a .352 on-base percentage in 123 plate appearances, but the Sox are 11-16 when he starts at shortstop, compared to 42-15 with Nick Green. A number of clubs want to acquire a young shortstop. But few teams, if any, are looking for an expensive veteran.”
The Mets do not want to acquire a veteran either, but they may need to. Jose Reyes’s return from injury is still unsettled. Most are hoping a return by the end of the month, but there has been no update on his rehab since he went to Port St. Lucie before the All-Star break with Carlos Delgado.
Former Red Sox member Alex Cora has filled in admirably, especially considering his thumb injury, but the fact is he’s been well below par offensively and defensively. He’s been batting around the Mendoza line and his range is non-existant. The Mets recalled Yankee castoff Angel Berroa, another poor defender and weak offensive player, because of how badly Cora has played.
I have not watched the Sox enough to know how well Lugo plays defensively, but the average and on base percentage is far better than what the Mets are mustering out of their current shortstops. When/If Reyes returns, Lugo would strengthen the bench and allow Manuel to rest Castillo more often, and matchup more carefully against opposing pitchers.
So what can the Mets give up for Lugo? I wouldnt offer a prospect of value if the Sox are that desperate, and I’d have the Sox take some salary so his contract won’t be unmovable next season. I’d look for the Mets to do a deal similar to what they did when they originally acquired Luis Castillo from the Twins: a couple of minor leaguers (non-prospects) and half the salary.
Will he help the Mets that much? Maybe not. However the problem right now is depth and injuries more than star power. Getting Healthy will help the star power, but Omar Minaya can work on the depth now.
Posted by Robert Z