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Padres extend lefty Luebke for three years, $12 million

CBSSports.com wire reports
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Left-hander Cory Luebke, 27, signed a three-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres on Friday with club options on two more seasons.

The deal is worth at least $12 million and could cost the Padres a total of $27.75 million if the club exercises both options.

Luebke, who was already signed for this season for $500,000, will get a $500,000 signing bonus. He will make $1 million in 2013, $3 million in 2014 and $5.25 in 2015. The contract calls for Luebke to make $7.5 million in 2016 against a club buyout of $1.75 million and $10 million in 2017 against a club buyout of $250,000.

Luebke began the 2011 season in the bullpen and made 29 straight relief appearances (1-2, 3.23 ERA) before making his first start. Overall, Luebke was 6-10 over 139 2/3 innings last season with a 3.29 earned run average. He was 5-8 with a 3.31 ERA as a starter. Opponents hit .209 against Luebke last season while he averaged 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. His 154 strikeouts were the second most ever by a Padres rookie.

Luebke is the third Padre to get a contract extension this spring, following center-fielder Cameron Maybin and catcher Nick Hundley. The Padres have committed at least $46 million and possibly as much as $74.75 million to the extensions for Luebke, Maybin ($25 for five years with a $9 million option year) and Hundley ($9 for three seasons with a $5 million option for a fourth year).

"We view the three as core players," Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said.

The extensions are the first made by the Padres since they extended pitchers Jake Peavy and Chris Young and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez before the 2007 season.

The Padres signed the extensions although CEO Jeff Moorad recently resigned after his ownership group failed to gain approval from the other owners. Padres majority owner John Moores completed the three extension deals.

"We've tried to emphasize business as usual," said Byrnes. "We're going to focus on baseball. We're trying to put the best team on the field that we can."

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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