Braves bolster bullpen, acquire Lucas Luetge in trade with Yankees

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Less than 24 hours after the Sean Murphy extension was announced, the Braves made another move to bolster the bullpen by acquiring Lucas Luetge in a trade with the Yankees. Atlanta sends New York Indigo Diaz and Caleb Durbin while designating Lewin Diaz for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

Diaz pitched in Double-A Mississippi in 2022, posting a 3-4 record with a 3.08 ERA and four saves over 49 games. Durbin split time between Single-A Augusta and High-A Rome last season, where he hit .241 over 105 games. The Braves shouldn’t miss either too terribly, so let’s get to the prize of the deal.

In 50 games last season, Luetge pitched to the tune of a 2.67 ERA, going 4-4 with 17 earned runs over 57.1 innings. Over the last two seasons in New York, he’s posted an impressive 2.71 ERA, punching out 138 batters.

The Brewers originally drafted the now 35-year-old in the 21st round of the 2008 first-year player draft before the Mariners selected him in the 2011 Rule 5 draft. During his time with Seattle, he struggled over a handful of seasons and didn’t appear back in the majors until 2021. Over six major league seasons, Luetge has posted a 3.38 ERA.

His 2022 Baseball Savant page paints a pretty picture. He’s elite in average exit velocity, hard hit percentage, and barrel percentage. After reviving his career with the Yankees, it is fair to wonder if Luetge’s age, turning 36 in March, will hamper his production. Fortunately, the Braves and Alex Anthopoulos have seen his underlying metrics and feel comfortable. Moreover, he won’t be counted on to be anything more than a middle reliever, considering how deep the Braves’ bullpen is.

Braves Country, let’s give a warm welcome to Lucas Luetge!

Photographer: John Cordes/Icon Sportswire
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