Yankees send Lucas Luetge to Atlanta to build depth

Yankees traded pitcher Lucas Luetge.

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The New York Yankees traded LHP Lucas Luetge to Atlanta on Wednesday night. They got two minor league players, infielder Caleb Durbin and righty pitcher Indigo Diaz, from the Braves for the lefty reliever.

Luetge, who is 35, pitched in at least 50 games for the Yankees in each of the last two seasons with an ERA under 3.00. In 2022, the left-handed pitcher had a 4-4 record, a 2.67 ERA, and two saves. He had 60 strikeouts in 57⅓ innings. Luetge was put on waivers last week so that the Yankees could make room on their 40-player roster for the veteran reliever Tommy Kahnle.

The Milwaukee Brewers picked 6-foot-5 Luetge in the 21st round of the 2008 draft. Luetge was born in Brenham, Texas. In 2012, he played his first game in the major leagues for Seattle. Luetge was 4-2 and had a 2.74 ERA and one save in 2021.

Last season, Luetge was in the 97th percentile for exit velocity surrendered. He still has two years left on his team control. He mostly has two pitches. More than half of his pitches are cutters in the upper 80s, and the other third are sliders in the upper 70s. Luetge also throws a low-70s curveball that got 53 percent of batters to swing and miss, the most of any of his three pitches.

In 2021, Atlanta chose Durbin, a 22-year-old from Evanston, Ill., in the 14th round. Last year, he played 105 games between Single-A and High-A in Augusta and Rome. He hit .241/.352/.372 and walked once every time he struck out. In 122 games for the Braves minor league teams in 2021 and ’22, he hit .244/.351/.363 (107-for-438) with 80 runs, 22 doubles, 3 triples, 8 home runs, 68 RBI, 55 walks, and 43 steals.

Diaz, who is 24, was chosen by Atlanta in the 27th round of the 2019 draft. In 49 innings at Double-A Mississippi in 2022, he had an earned run average of 3.08 and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.03. Scouts like to throw fast pitch. The Braves picked him out of Michigan State University in the 27th round of the 2019 First-Year Player Draft. He was born in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada. In 87 relief appearances, the RHP recorded an ERA of 2.31 and nine saves.

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