The Braves haven’t made many free-agent moves this offseason, only spending $3 million in that area. However, there were several worthwhile trades. Sean Murphy headlines the offseason; he’s an elite catcher and just agreed to a long-term deal to stay in Atlanta for his prime years.
There were others, though. Joe Jiménez is going to be someone that Braves fans come to love. He’s a hard thrower with some nasty swing-and-miss stuff and will add to an already dominant relief core.
“The Braves made a potentially valuable under-the-radar move when they traded two prospects to the Yankees for lefthander Lucas Luetge, who had been designated for assignment. Luetge had a 2.71 ERA the last two seasons for the Yankees and throws a baffling curveball. Luetge also went more than an inning in 16 of his 50 appearances last season.”
Luetge is not your typical hard-throwing reliever like AJ Minter. His pitches sit in the upper-80s with some of the most wicked movement on his curveball and cutter. He’s closer to Collin McHugh, who Braves fans should love for his saucer-esque pitches.
Both pitchers are elite at preventing hard contact, which led to a 2.71 ERA and 2.92 FIP over the last two seasons for Luetge in New York. Last year, he appeared in 50 games while posting a 2.67 ERA and a 3.03 FIP in 57.1 innings. He’s compiled 138 strikeouts in 129.2 innings with New York over the past two seasons, and there’s a chance he will become the next folk hero for Braves Country.
Photographer: John Cordes/Icon Sportswire