The Atlanta Braves added left-handed reliever Lucas Luetge.to their bullpen on Wednesday, obtaining him from the New York Yankees in exchange for minor-league infielder Caleb Durbin and right-hander Indigo Diaz. Luetge had been designated for assignment last week as the Yankees cleared 40-player roster space for incoming veteran reliever Tommy Kahnle.
Luetge, 35, made 107 combined appearances over the last two seasons, amassing a 2.71 ERA (153 ERA+) and a 4.31 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He had previously not pitched in the majors since 2015, having failed to establish a foothold in the big leagues over parts of four years with the Seattle Mariners.
Luetge, who has two years of team control remaining, ranked in the 97th percentile last season in exit velocity surrendered. He's primarily a two-offering pitcher, throwing more than 50 percent upper-80s cutters and another 31 percent upper-70s sliders. Luetge also mixes in a low-70s curveball that generated 53 percent whiffs, the highest among his three pitches.
He joins A.J. Minter and Dylan Lee as southpaws likely to populate Brian Snitker's bullpen. Fellow lefty Tyler Matzek, a key member of Atlanta's World Series victory in 2021, is expected to miss the entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last October. The Braves have made several other additions to their relief corps this offseason, including trade acquisitions Joe Jiménez and Dennis Santana and free-agent signing Nick Anderson.
Durbin, 22, was Atlanta's 14th-round pick in 2021. In 105 games split between Single- and High-A last year, he hit .241/.352/.372 with a one-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio. Diaz, 24, was Atlanta's 27th-round pick in 2019. He spent last season in Double-A, posting a 3.08 ERA and a 2.03 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 49 innings. Scouts praise his fastball.