NEW YORK (AP) -As the New York Mets went to work Wednesday on a contract extension for Johan Santana, they also added depth to their bullpen by claiming hometown pitcher Ruddy Lugo off waivers from Oakland.
Lugo was 6-0 with a 5.40 ERA in 38 relief appearances with the Athletics and Tampa Bay last season. Oakland claimed him off waivers in June, then designated him for assignment Friday after claiming outfielder Jeff Fiorentino off waivers from Cincinnati.
Lugo is 8-4 with a 4.39 ERA in 102 major league games. Control has been his biggest problem - he has 74 walks and 82 strikeouts in 133 1-3 innings.
Still, the 27-year-old right-hander has been effective for extended stretches. He pitched in 64 games for Tampa Bay in 2006, going 2-4 with a 3.81 ERA and allowing only four homers in 85 innings. He held opponents to a .210 batting average during his final 24 appearances last year, finishing 4-0 with a 2.86 ERA.
The younger brother of Boston shortstop Julio Lugo, Ruddy was selected by Milwaukee in the third round of the 1999 amateur draft.
He played at Xaverian High School in Brooklyn, leading the team to the 1999 Catholic High School Athletic Association championship by striking out 12 and scoring the winning run in the title game at Shea Stadium.
The Mets plan to move into a new ballpark in 2009, Citi Field, and when they do they hope Santana will be the centerpiece of their pitching staff.
New York made a big splash Tuesday by reaching a tentative agreement to acquire the two-time Cy Young Award winner from Minnesota. If the deal is completed, the Mets would trade four prospects to the Twins: speedy outfielder Carlos Gomez, and pitchers Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra.
First, Santana and the Mets must agree to a contract extension by 5 p.m. EST Friday. The left-hander, who turns 29 in March, can become a free agent after this year's World Series and is likely seeking a deal worth more than $120 million over six or seven years.
Mets officials met with Santana's agent, Peter Greenberg, in Manhattan on Wednesday. If the sides reach an agreement before Friday's deadline, the only obstacle left would be Santana passing a physical.
``Every team in the division became stronger, but now with Santana we're the favorites again,'' New York left fielder Moises Alou said in the Dominican Republic.
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Associated Press Writer Dionisio Soldevila in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, contributed to this report.

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