3. Lucas Luetge
Losing Lucas Luetge right before the postseason would be a brutal capper on a year where the Yankees fought like hell to keep him around, as well as a year where he delivered more often than not.
Luetge’s lack of options led to both Clarke Schmidt and Ron Marinaccio spending undue time in the minors this season, only because there was no viable alternative without the Yankees cutting bait on some semi-trusted veterans (and they hate to do that). And they’d want to lose him now, after jumping through hoops all year to keep him? Well … yeah. What did the Jordan Montgomery trade teach us? If he’s not going to pitch in October, he might not be here much longer.
The left-hander has mostly been a mop-up guy, which doesn’t really play well in the postseason, when the mop-up guys will presumably be Jameson Taillon and Domingo German. He’s had some highlight-reel moments lately (namely, getting Carlos Correa to whiff as the tying run last Wednesday), but he remains mainly a same-side guy with excellent breaking stuff who can absorb three innings in a blowout or a high-leverage opportunity if it’s really necessary.
That said … 2.45 ERA since Aug. 1. Better than Wandy Peralta. He’s gotten the Yankees through some very tough times, and caused some roster conundrums earlier in the summer.
It would stink to sink his 2022 season, and Yankees career, just to welcome back Zack Britton. But if all four of these bullpen reinforcements are returning, he might have to say goodbye a few days before Game 162.