Red Sox News: Boston signs former Yankees pitcher, 4 OFs on front office’s radar

May 29, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; Atlanta Braves pitcher Lucas Luetge (63) delivers a pitch
May 29, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; Atlanta Braves pitcher Lucas Luetge (63) delivers a pitch / D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Just four days before the pitchers and catchers report date, the Boston Red Sox made a depth signing.

On Feb. 10, the Red Sox signed former Yankees pitcher Lucas Luetge, who announced the deal himself via his personal Twitter. The terms of the contract are unclear, but MLB Trade Rumors speculates that the lefty signed a minor-league deal that includes an invite to Boston's spring training.

Luetge has had an interesting career with many highs and lows. He made his MLB debut with Seattle in 2012 and pitched between the Mariners and Triple-A Tacoma until 2015, when he was outrighted. Luetge pitched 89 innings over his four years with the Mariners and logged a 4.35 ERA with 74 strikeouts.

After being outrighted by Seattle, Luetge did not appear in the majors again until 2021. The Yankees signed him to a minor-league deal earlier that year, and the reliever pitched so well at spring training that he made the Opening Day roster. Luetge pitched for New York for two seasons, racking up 72.1 innings and a 2.71 ERA.

The Yankees signed Tommy Kahnle the following offseason and designated Luetge for assignment. He was traded to the Braves where he struggled on the mound. He pitched to a 7.24 ERA in just 13.2 innings and was DFA'd rather quickly.

Red Sox sign former Yankee Lucas Luetge and are interested in Adam Duvall, Tommy Pham, Randal Grichuk, Michael A. Taylor

Besides adding bullpen depth, the Red Sox still have work to do in the outfield to round out the roster for the season. The front office has four outfielders on its radar — Adam Duvall, Tommy Pham, Michael A. Taylor and Randal Grichuk.

Boston has been eyeing a reunion with Duvall for a few weeks (it was reported by MLB insider Jon Heyman that the Red Sox and Angels were in the bidding for the outfielder). Now, though, as the offseason winds down, it seems like more teams have entered the mix.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Cubs, Giants, Orioles, Diamondbacks and Twins are all in the market for an outfielder and could be considered a possibility for any of these targets.

Duvall would be the best choice with Boston's lineup as he played with the team last season and got off to a productive start before injuring his wrist in April. He ended up making 92 appearances for the Sox and hit .247/.303/.531.

Taylor is far and away the best defender of the group. He registered 9 OAA in 2023 and Baseball Savant ranks his arm strength in the 90th percentile. However, Taylor's bat lacks consistency and he's a career .239/.294/.389 hitter in 10 seasons in the big leagues.

Pham played for the Red Sox during the second half of the 2022 season, but he had a better showing at the plate with the Mets and Diamondbacks in 2023. The righty batted .256/.328/.446 last season, up from .236/.312/.374 in 2022. He's a decent fielder, although not as good as Taylor. Baseball Savant ranks Pham's arm strength in the 69th percentile and he logged -1 OAA last season.

Grichuk played with the Rockies and Angels in 2023. His defense is lacking in comparison to the rest of Boston's candidates — he posted a -7 OAA last season and his arm strength falls in the 67th percentile. In 2023, he batted .267/.321/.459, his third-best season at the plate in his 10-year career.

If Boston has a preference among the outfield candidates its looking at, it should sign one of them soon. If all the teams Rosenthal listed are going to choose from Pham, Duvall, Grichuk and Taylor to fill in their outfields, some of the clubs are going to be left with nothing. The Red Sox can't afford to be left behind again.

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