By Jason Shetler
According to Jon Heyman (via Twitter), Cory Luebke has an opt-out clause in his contract.
Luebke agreed to a minor league deal with the Pirates in February. The 31-year-old southpaw hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2012 after undergoing a pair of Tommy John procedures. In three seasons with the San Diego Padres (2010-2012), Luebke has put up a 3.25 ERA along with an ERA+ of 111 and a 9.3 K/9. He missed the beginning of Spring Training recovering from a strained hamstring. Luebke has displayed good velocity in his three appearances to this point, topping out at 94 mph. Eric O’Flaherty will most likely be the second lefty in the bullpen, so it’ll be interesting if Luebke can still make the club. If the Pirates don’t place Luebke on the 40-man roster by the end of Spring, then he can use his opt-out and become a free agent. The Pirates faced a similar situation at this time last year with Clayton Richard, who decided not to opt-out and instead reported to AAA Indianpolis.