The New York Yankees announced tonight that they traded reliever Lucas Luetge to the Atlanta Braves for minor leaguers Caleb Durbin and Indigo Diaz. The lefty was designated for assignment a week ago when they signed reliever Tommy Kahnle.
Durbin is a 5-foot-8 right-handed infielder who was picked in the 14th round by the Braves in the 2021 MLB Draft. He played second base for 32 games in High-A after being recalled from Middle-A. The 22-year-old slashed .220/.306/.330 with a wRC+ of 79.
Diaz was selected in the 27th round of the 2019 MLB Draft, but is a little more notable than Durbin, as he had ascended the Atlanta organization to become the 23rd-ranked prospect in the system by MLB Pipeline by the time of the trade. In 2022, he was a 24-year-old righty reliever pitching in Double-A and had an ERA of 3.08 with a FIP of 4.27 and an xFIP of 5.37. Diaz fanned 63 batters in 49.2 innings with the help of his power breaking ball, though he also walked 31.
The main focus here is Luetge, who was a part of the Yankees bullpen for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. In his most recent season, he pitched in 50 games and 57.1 innings with a 2.67 ERA, 3.03 FIP, 3.93 xFIP, and 0.9 fWAR. The Yankees used him sparingly during 2022, but when he was pitching, he was relatively consistent. He used his cutter and slider duo to get batters early, and his curveball would generate whiffs from hitters over 50% of the time, which is extremely impressive.
Despite the Yankees not using him as much as some people might have liked over the course of 2022, he was a pitcher that people could rely on most of the time to help the team out of the bullpen. It will be good for him to head to Atlanta, where he may be able to carve a spot in their bullpen as well.
The New York Yankees today announced that they have acquired minor leaguers INF Caleb Durbin and RHP Indigo Diaz from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for LHP Lucas Luetge.— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) December 29, 2022