Ranking the top 3 SF Giants starting pitching targets by SO/W ratio
3. Seth Lugo - 3.89 SO/W ratio
Seth Lugo has the feel of an underrated Giants target for several reasons. Perhaps, one of the most notable reasons is the Bob Melvin connection. Lugo worked primarily out of the bullpen in his first seven seasons with the New York Mets.
However, he pitched exclusively out of the starting rotation for Melvin and the San Diego Padres last year. The 33-year-old had his best season in the majors while doing so. Familiarity might be a factor, but he also does not have a track record that would command a deal like Aaron Nola, Jordan Montgomery, and Blake Snell are all expected to receive. There might be a bargain element to Lugo similar to when the Giants signed Alex Cobb two seasons ago.
Lugo tallied a 3.57 ERA, 3.83 FIP, 1.20 WHIP, 8.6 K/9, and a 3.89 SO/W ratio in 26 starts for the Padres in 2023. The ability to record a healthy number of strikeouts while limiting walks has been a characteristic of his career as evidenced by his 3.75 SO/W ratio across eight seasons.
Lugo has really just been an effective pitcher, posting a 3.50 ERA since debuting for the Mets in 2016. MLB Trade Rumors predicts that he will net a three-year, $42 million pact in free agency. Lugo just completed his age-33 season, so he is a bit on the older side for a pitcher. This along with his limited track record as a starter reinforces the idea that he could be a really nice bargain for a team. He is not necessarily a frontline starter but could be a very solid mid-rotation arm.
Honorable mention: Jordan Montgomery (3.46 SO/W ratio) and Sonny Gray (3.33 SO/W ratio) both seem like potential targets based on this stat as well.