2024 Dynasty Baseball Trade Targets: Lugo/King

by Josh Stevens
2024 Dynasty Baseball Trade Targets: MJ Melendez and Cade Smith

Trades in Dynasty Leagues can involve players at a myriad of different stages in their careers. Unlike redraft leagues, you can trade for established players, newcomers, minor leaguers, or even high school guys who haven’t been drafted yet. This is true for our next 2024 Dynasty Baseball Trade Targets: Matthew Lugo and Michael King.

The type of player that you target in Dynasty leagues depends on the your focus on the direction of your team. These focuses are very similar to the focuses of real teams.

Think you have the talent to go all in? Trade some prospects for established guys, even if they might be aging. This could work out, like the 2018 Red Sox, or set you back a ton, like the 2022 Padres.

On the other hand, you could be the guy trading away these established guys for prospects. Again, this could work out, like the 2017 Astros, or be a total flop, like the A’s the last half-decade.

In any case, there’s a trade for you to make to bolster your team, and we cover both bases here.

2024 Dynasty Baseball Trade Targets

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Matthew Lugo, IF, Boston Red Sox.

You might be surprised to find Lugo, an unheralded infield prospect (outside of the Sox top 30) on this list. After all, he’s been in the minors since 2019 and hasn’t generated much buzz yet.

Lugo was decent in A Ball Salem in 2021, hitting .270 and swiping 15 bags. However, the power numbers left a lot to be desired with only four homers in over 100 games.

Lugo evidently made big adjustments in the offseason and came back with a vengeance. With Greenville in 2022, Lugo hit .288 and saw his power numbers shoot up to 18 long balls. This, coupled with 25 doubles and 20 stolen bases, made it surprising that the versatile Lugo wasn’t called up to AA until the final three games of the season.

Lugo did start in Portland in 2023, but never ascended from there due to a mediocre season that saw his home run, stolen base, and average numbers fall.

However, Lugo has started to come into his own this year. Back in April, I reported that he was currently leading the Portland Sea Dogs with a .357 average, over stars such as Roman Anthony and Marcelo Mayer.

This hasn’t changed much since that article. In 43 games in AA Portland, Lugo hit .315 with 11 bombs and an OPS above one, earning him a spot in AAA, where he was called up this past week. If Lugo stays hot, look for him to join a thin Red Sox infield by August or September.

Michael King, SP, San Diego Padres

Lots of people were skeptical when King made the switch from reliever to starter in the second half of the season last year.

Sure, King had come up as a starter. He had also started a couple of games each season from 2019-2021, but these were more in opener roles. King made his name as a setup guy in the back end of the Yankees pen.

However, a rash of injuries led to the Yankees placing King in the rotation in 2023. King was very solid as a starter, earning him a spot in the Padres rotation in 2024.

King had a rough start to 2024, posting an ERA of five through April, raising many questions about the long-term future of King in the rotation.

To give credit to the Padres (or maybe it was out of necessity), they stuck with King. King posted a three ERA in May and has only given up one run in 12 innings in June.

What has been the driving force for King’s success?

Control. King walked 21 batters in April, which translates to almost six walks per nine innings. King has great stuff, but it’s hard to keep runs off of the scoreboard when guys are getting free passes each inning.

This number was cut to eight walks in May, and three so far in June. These fewer walks also allow King to go deeper into games.

As he doesn’t have the same experience of going deep into games as most starters, King needs to keep his pitch count down to reach the sixth or seventh inning, as he isn’t a guy who will go 100 pitches.

Another area of optimism for King is his ability to miss barrels. King comes in sixth on Baseball Savant’s list of lowest barrel rates, coming in at a scant 19.3%.

“This is our first perhaps somewhat-surprising entry on our list, because King, a huge part of the trade that sent Soto to New York, has been fine-not-great as a Padre, though he has followed up a 5.00 ERA in March/April with a 2.36 ERA in seven starts since, allowing only three homers in that time. Watch for increased usage of his changeup, which has gone from 15% usage last year to 25% this year – and is the second-most-difficult changeup to square up in the Majors.”

King shouldn’t be all too surprising to be on the list. Opponents only hit .220 against him in his “bad” April, suggesting that the walks were the culprit. Now that King has gotten his control in check, look for him to have a monster second half.

 

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