The Braves announced they’ve acquired reliever Lucas Luetge from the Yankees. Minor leaguers Caleb Durbin and Indigo Diaz are headed back in return. To clear a spot on their 40-man roster, Atlanta designated first baseman Lewin Díaz for assignment.
New York surprisingly designated Luetge for assignment last Wednesday. That opened a one-week window for them to trade him or place him on waivers, but the former outcome always seemed likelier. The veteran southpaw has been a productive piece of the New York bullpen over the past two years, so it’s no surprise to see a team part with some minor league talent to keep him off waivers.
Luetge, 35, pitched two seasons in the Bronx after signing a minor league deal during the 2020-21 offseason. Over his time in pinstripes, he put together a 2.71 ERA through 129 2/3 frames. That included a sub-3.00 mark in both years, with Luetge topping 55 innings in each season. His 2022 campaign saw him put together a 2.67 mark across 57 1/3 frames, striking out a solid 23.9% of opponents against a better than average 6.8% walk rate.
The veteran has held left-handed opponents to a .229/.281/.324 line in 185 plate appearances since joining the Yankees. Righties have a .268/.320/.395 slash that’s better but not overwhelming, meaning Luetge doesn’t have to be leveraged solely against same-handed hitters. He doesn’t throw hard but he’s been excellent at staying off barrels. Only 23.5% of batted balls against him this past season were hit hard, per Statcast; that’s the lowest rate of any qualified pitcher in the game.
Luetge has between four and five years of major league service. He’s arbitration-eligible for the next two seasons, with MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projecting a $1.7MM salary in 2023. He’ll add a third southpaw to what should be a very strong Atlanta relief corps, with A.J. Minter and Dylan Lee on hand for higher-leverage work.
The acquisition bumps Lewin Díaz off the 40-man roster and back into DFA limbo. That’s familiar territory for the 26-year-old first baseman, who has changed organizations four times this winter. He’s gone from the Marlins to the Pirates to the Orioles via waivers, and Atlanta just purchased his contract from Baltimore last week.
The Braves will now have a week to deal Díaz or try to pass him through waivers, so it’s possible he changes teams again in the coming days. A left-handed hitter, he’s a .181/.227/.340 hitter through 112 MLB games. Díaz has a more impressive .250/.325/.504 mark in just under 700 Triple-A plate appearances, though. He’s also regarded as a plus defender at first base, with public defensive metrics very bullish on his early-career work at the position. That’s led to a decent amount of interest around the league, though Díaz hasn’t yet stuck on a 40-man roster very long this winter.
As for the Yankees, they’ll bring in some minor league talent. Indigo Diaz was a 27th-round pick in the 2019 draft. He entered the 2022 campaign as the #21 prospect in the Atlanta system, according to Baseball America. The 24-year-old spent the whole season at Double-A Mississippi, posting a 3.08 ERA through 49 2/3 innings of relief. The 6’5″ righty struck out nearly 30% of opposing hitters but walked batters at a huge 14.6% clip. Diaz went unselected in this offseason’s Rule 5 draft and adds some non-roster bullpen depth to the upper minors in New York.
Durbin went in the 14th round in the 2021 draft. He split this past season between two A-ball levels, hitting .241/.352/.372 across 450 plate appearances with matching 10.9% strikeout and walk rates. A right-handed hitter, Durbin split his time between second, third base and shortstop. He turns 23 in February and won’t be eligible for the Rule 5 draft until after the 2024 campaign.
Tomorrow’s headline: Luetge signs 8 year extension with Atlanta.
Nice. Well played.
As funny as this is no way Atlanta gives a 8 year contract to a reliever who had his career dismantle and reform itself on a minors pact…. dude didn’t pitch in MLB from 2015 till 2021…. kuddos to him on making it back… was waiting on them to cover that in the article but never did?
That’s what makes it funny.
8 years would gave him signed till age 43
This guy maths.
Which is why the joke was amusing
Definitely not at his age. Lol. What are the Braves thinking here? I hope they didn’t give up too much value for their sakes.
Sid Bream Speed Demon
What do you mean what are they thinking? They gave up scraps for a reliever with a 2.50 ERA. Hopefully all Yankees fans aren’t as dumb as you.
Come on Sid. It’s fine for a pitcher to be 35 on your team. But once they turn 36 and are on another team their arms are finished.
Is he playing 1B and asking for 27M AAV?
I think you’re undervaluing Indigo Diaz by referring to him as scraps. I’d rather have him for 7 seasons than Luetge for 2.
Lol, Indigo has a 14.5% walk rate. 95% chance he throws less then 20 innings his entire MLB career.
Any team could have drafted him in this last rule 4 draft but he wasn’t selected by anyone.
I mean rule V draft.
He was the Yankees garbage time reliever. I hope all Braves fans aren’t as dumb as you not knowing the value difference between a high leverage and garbage time reliever.
He’ll pitch 60-ish innings with like a 2.00 ERA. Braves always seem to have a cache of guys like that in their bullpen, no matter what scrapheap they’re pulled from.
Tyler Matzek will miss the 2023 season because of TJS. Luetge replaces Matzek as the 3rd lefty in the pen. Luetge’s age not withstanding he’s been really good in his 2 years for the Yankees and should be good for the Braves in 2023.
He pitched well and he’s a lefty reliever. They gave up 2 very low level prospects. Hard not to see this as a braves win.
“My name is Indigo Diaz. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
Not too many viable career paths for a guy named Indigo. What were the parents thinking?
Mandingo versus Indigo much more “career path” limiting 🙂
I hope he has a good temperament and isn’t violet.
You went for it. I respect that. Upvote coming your way.
Well, he’s a professional ball player, so that’s something.
Indigo is a cool ass name. Sounds like a James Bond villain or a 50’s boxer. What’s your name? Tony?
What were the parents thinking?
Pass the dutchie to the left one time!
They were probably thinking those are not the correct lyrics to the 1982 smash hit “Pass The Dutchie” by Birmingham England’s own, Musical Youth.
I don’t think that word means what you think it means.
Great flick – even had Andre the giant
Big trade. Big Big trade. Massive.
AA having a Diaz clearance event.
How many teams has Lewin Diaz been on this offseason? What’s the record for most DFAs?
4 and no idea.
I think Indigo Diaz will basically be who Luetge is now when he reaches the major. I like the return for the Yankees here.
Indigo was avaliable and undrafted in the Rule 5.
So? Probably only two rule 5 guys even stick anyway. Doesn’t mean he won’t be valuable eventually. You also don’t just take the best talents when considering rule 5 picks. There are many factors.
Yes, yes. He wasn’t among the top 15 eligible players taken and that no team felt they could keep him on the Major League roster all year. What’s your point? He has more value as he develops being on a minor league roster, with no risk of having to return him to Atlanta.
Next: Braves sign Carlos Correa to a 11 year, 80 million dollar contract.
1M in 2023, 9M in 2024, 7M through the next 10 years
$1 million 2023-32, $70 million balloon payment in 2033.
Oh, wait! There’s been a problem with his physical with the Braves! They say he has no heart, and is spineless!
Lewin Diaz is getting passed around more than Tammy Sytch.
I hope he doesn’t have similar driving habits as Tammy
I still don’t really get this from the Yankees perspective but I do trust Cashman’s bullpen development. I also hear Krook is on the shortlist to replace LL, and he had a pretty good year.
All in all, it’ll be a good fit for both Lucas and the Braves.
Cash doesn’t really trust LL in high-leverage situations. Tommy K can do that. My guess is they are not counting on Holmes to be healthy all year.
Or to be effective.
Krook has options. Kahlne is effective v. Lh’s and can be a higher leverage guy. Holmes, Losiasga and Trevino are the high leverage core. Peralta, Schmidt, German + others on the backend. Plus they got a prospect that is the exact type they’ve had success with, hard throwing Rh’s. It’s all good
Pretty simple, the Yankees have several better bullpen options than Luetge and have a ton of depth at the position. They also needed to clear a spot on the 40 man
@Ronk325- For who Correa? Lol. I truly hope not. Smh
No, Luetge’s spot went to Kahnle already
LL can pitch in the pressure cooker of Yankee stadium. LOL
We had Lewin for a long time didnt we
Yeah well, Lewin some you lose some!
This made me laugh
I think L Diaz was just designated for assignment. Not headed to the Yankees
Lewin, we hardly knew ‘ye
Biggest trade since Russia traded Griner to the US for Bout
Really good pickup for ATL.
Knew he wouldn’t reach free agency.
They were bound to get something in return.
10 year extension coming
tHiS iS RuDe
Is Caleb related to Chad? Both from IL – Durbin has three kids and a wife, all whose names start with C – this kid his nephew or something?
Indigo may be our answer to Ohtani.
Or to trout!
I saw rightfielder in his profile where he played one game in 2017 as a 17 y.o. The tools are there for a two-way there player. /s
Love this move. Sneaky good move for the Braves.
I know everybody is making obvious extension jokes and I was going to, but Luetge will be 36 opening day.
Somehow I don’t think Luetge does get that trademark Atlanta extension… unless they simply buy out his remaining two years of arbitration.
Seriously though, a Luetge extension would probably look like… 2 years/$8M or maybe 4 years/$16M?
Only a TrillionaireTeamOperator would think about a 4 year extension of a 36 year old reliever.
Meh. In all seriousness the conditioning and sports science prolonging careers keeps pushing that bar and while Luetge’s peripherals showed regression last year he may actually be the pitcher he’s seemed to be the last couple of seasons and may be deserving of contracts and a bullpen spot through his age 39 season, with a low seven figure salary.
As a lefty he should stick around. I wouldn’t worry about extensions though.
But why would you guarantee a guy like Luetge 4 seasons? He’s not elite with a great track record. Not too many relievers should get 4 years.
It’s mostly a joke about the Braves extending guys left and right. But it’s also a presumptuous projection for if they really did extend Luetge. He is up for arbitration and he will probably earn around $1.9M in arbitration for the 2023 season.
I also realize while he only pitched in 15 fewer innings last year than in 2021, his WAR was down by half, when, if he’d maintained his effectiveness, it should have only dropped by about a quarter.
Assuming he maintains his roughly 68 IP average he should garner another 0.5 to 1.0 WAR, which would still project him to be worth around $7.5M on the open market at his top value, which I believe would be around $3.25M in his final year of arbitration. So if they bought out his two years of arbitration, he would get 2 years/$5.15M and if he maintained his kind of performance, he might get 2 years/$8M on the open market going into free agency.
That’d still be $13.15M over 4 years.
This is assuming he doesn’t fall apart. He might be peaking or have already peaked. Who knows.
*non- set-up reliever
He is under control for 2 more years. That is likely all the Braves are looking to get out of him, for cheap $$$.
4 years only makes sense if the avv is super low, essentially making the years a deferral for salary. Like 4 years $6 million with incentives maybe.
Number 23 Braves prospect for a RP we didn’t need? Yes please.
Looks good on paper but Braves know player development and know their guys better than anyone else. I would definitely be happy with the potential though.
…..and the Yankees are great at getting castoffs and turning them into gold….aka Holmes, Luetge, etc
…..and the Yankees are great at getting castoffs and turning them into gold….aka Holmes, Luetge, etc
Holmes said he figured things out in Pittsburgh before he got traded. Not that NY isn’t good with pitching. I gave them full credit as well until Holmes said that.
No reason to doubt Holmes, although his pitch selection and sequencing did change with the Yankees, which is what they often do with relievers they acquire. They’ll also narrow the pitch selection down too. We started to see that with Lou Trivino when he came over from the A’s. They did similar with Peralta. It’s probably a little bit of both in Holmes’ case, meaning he made some changes and the Yankees did too. His last 18 appearances with the Pirates he pitched to a 9.20 ERA, so I hope that wasn’t him figuring it out. More seriously, hopefully the back issue he had the second half will be cured with an off season of rest. His sinker was not sinking like it had since the Yankees acquired him mid 2021. His release point was off, which is not surprising with a back issue.
It was the series right before they traded him. Can’t remember what it was. Just remember being surprised Pittsburgh actually did something beneficial. It wasn’t all Pittsburgh. NY coaching and usage was helpful. Just going to a winning team was helpful.
Another keyboard know it all.
Doesn’t matter if he said that or not. His numbers didn’t reflect it and he didn’t become the product he is now until he came to NY and worked with Blake. Period.
No need to argue just to argue.
Braves have a poor farm system due to early call-ups (Harris, Grissom, Strider) and trades. Braves 23 probably wouldn’t crack the top 30 on most teams.
It doesn’t matter with Diaz. It’s what the Yankees will do with him. This is a core strength with the organization down to the lowest levels.
Every fan wants to declare a winner and a loser. I’d suggest with Luetge and Diaz that it’s not worth the mental effort, but I also think two teams can end up winning depending on what they’re seeking. The Braves get a useful arm for low leverage situations, the Yankees clear a 40-man roster spot and get a reliever they can work with.
That’s all well and good, but I’m just saying that you can’t just use his ranking in the Braves organization as proof that it’s a good return. It’s currently a bad minor league system, so his ranking is inflated.
Controllable southpaw with a sub-3.00 ERS last 2 years — you just put Yankees entire bullpen on notice.
Number 23 prospect in the 2nd to worst farm system in baseball, a guy who any team could have selected for free in last month’s Rule V draft, but every single team passed (half of the teams chose not to draft a single player in the draft).
He has a very small chance of being anyone, and going by the Braves trade record with their prospects, almost no chance.
The teams with good pitching and good pitching coaches rework
their own pitchers for the bullpen, they don’t pay retail in free
Matt Blake has gotten a lot out of pitchers with the Yankees. Lucas Luetge is one. Blake is more important to that team then Cashman and Boone. In fact, he’s been saving their behinds since he got there.
@Samuel – The Yankees have paid retail value or higher for a lot of their bullpen arms over the past 5 years or so. The one difference is that they tend to acquire their BP pitchers via trades and then re-sign them at market rates, if not higher than market rates when they are up for free agency. Some examples of this: Zack Britton, Chapman, Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle, etc. I do agree the NYY pitching coach is extremely valuable to the team. He has done a great job developing pitchers, especially in the BP.
The examples you cited were there before Matt Blake was hired.
He’s taken on guys – not only in the bullpen but in the starting rotation as well – and made them productive.
Yanks bullpen is stacked
Great move by Atlanta. Luetge never got the respect he deserved from Aaron Boone
Because he isn’t very good
Yea sub 3 era and the lowest hard hit ball percentage in league screams not very good
Diaz will be valuable once they put him through their camp.
We got AJ for high leverage from the left side. Tyler Matz had TJ and they needed a lefty.
Indigo is a nice pickup for NY for a 36 year old, DFA’d pitcher. He had an amazing 2021 in A & A+ ball. He also pitched well in 2022 but he lost some control, walking too many batters. If NY can get his control back to his 2021 levels, he could become a legitimate, big league bullpen arm for them within a couple of years. Not a bad return at all for LL.
Dusty Baker's tooth pick.
Holy crap I jokingly said AA was licking his chops on the DFA article, then they really acquired him lol. Lucky guess
I don’t love this move. He was DFA’d for a reason and I get he’s been pretty good the last two years, diaz has some upside as a bullpen arm and I’d rather package him in an effort to upgrade elsewhere. Regardless, Braves got better so can’t complain much
Lewis been DFA’d 3 times he ain’t gettin packaged anywhere
Yankees got rid of him cause he is arbitration and they don’t want to pay him more than he is worth to them
He may be the 3rd lefty behind Lee & Minter but Lee is not making any real money yet so he fits in the bullpen budget
When I posted this, indigo Diaz was the only Diaz in the post. Lewis I’m find with DFA’ing
Was surprised by this to be sure. Yanks’ bullpen is nowhere near the lights-out pack it used to be, and now, with LL’s departure, who else besides Peralta is going to be tough on lefty bats?
The Yankees have an assembly line of power relievers. LL’s peripherals are going downhill.
LL was never required to get out a tough lefty.
Poor Lewin Diaz, not a bad player at all! Everyone wants him and doesn’t want him at the same time. Being that waiver guy passed around like christmas mashed potatoes, just a bad place to be!
Rich Lewin Diaz. It will be poor when teams stop claiming him.
Astute move by the Bravos. Who doesn’t need a guy who throws strikes and also gets out righties. Cash is loading up right now for Reynolds or Wendle et. Al. Everybodys’ lock gets oiled in this deal.
How many times has Lewin Diaz been DFAd this offseason??
So he’s been on 4 different teams and now probably a 5th unless he goes back to one of the previous 3?
If no one claims him then wouldn’t he be in Gwinnett
November 22, 2022: Selected off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates from the Miami Marlins.
December 2, 2022: Selected off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
December 23, 2022: Traded by the Baltimore Orioles to the Atlanta Braves for unknown compensation.
December 28, 2022: Placed on waivers by the Atlanta Braves.
Glad my Braves Lewin Diaz jersey hasn’t shipped from MLB store or I’d have to dispute the charge with Visa.
I think mine is shipping in the same package as my Carlos Correa Giants jersey.
No way. I thought at least they would be sending Acuña back to the Yankees.
Gotta love AA. Always something up that man’s sleeve.
lewin diaz is getting passed around like a peace pipe. poor guy
The Yankees designating Luetge doesn’t mean they didn’t like him; it means there are other options they preferred. The Braves can use Luetge in similar situations the Yankees did. Diaz is someone who should provide value to the Yankees down the line, but more importantly, he’s not on the 40-man roster. Luetge is and can’t be sent down.
I wonder if this means Junior Fernandez cleared? He was designated the same day as Luetge. It would be nice if they could hold him and see if they can they can fix some issues and get value from him as they did Holmes, and as they did Luetge when they pulled him from the ether after he was out of the game for five or six years.
It’s simple math 13 pitchers allowed.
5 SP + Schmidt & German for depth. That leaves 6 spots Holmes, King, Trevino, Loaisiga, Peralta, Marinacio. Who would you subtract for Luetge? Look my friend they got 2 years of solid relief that they got for nothing and then turn him into 2 lottery tickets!
Oops I left out Tommy Kahnley. More math, just no room for LL!
On its face, this looks like a good trade for both sides. I didn’t understand the decision to lose Luetge, but since it’s a done deal, at least they got a couple of interesting prospects out of it.
“Mood Indigo” would be about the coolest entrance song:
Uncle Steve will sign Lewin for 10 and 300!!
Nice pick up .. Adds LH depth to the back end of the pen .. Good control !
Looks like the Lewin Diaz MLB tour continues. Up next Tampa Bay?
At least all of this is happening to Diaz in the off-season. Imagine if it was happening in-season. He’d be living in airports.
Especially if he was flying Southwest Airlines…
remember the outcry from yankee fans when cashman traded justin wilson for chad green and luis cessa? injuries screwed them last season but cashman gets the benefit of the doubt when it comes to assembling a bullpen (if it was easy even chaim bloom could do it)