3 surprise Yankees non-tender candidates ahead of deadline

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Lucas Luetge #63 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

2. Lucas Luetge

Lucas Luetge, for some reason, was a rumored non-tender candidate last offseason. Then he was a rumored trade casualty before Opening Day … and then at the deadline. Why? Our guess is as good as yours.

If the Yankees needed anything these last few years, it’s someone who can eat innings in both high- and low-leverage situations. Luetge, for as underwhelming as he might be, can accomplish that. But there are some younger, more intriguing options the team could use in his place (Greg Weissert, new 40-man add Matt Krook, Will Warren, Matt Minnick?).

Additionally, there’s an overall desire to improve the product in the bullpen now that the payroll isn’t being weighed down by Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman. Perhaps that’s where some of the offseason money goes. And fans can’t rule out the classic Cashman trade for a diamond-in-the-rough reliever.

This would be a penny-pinching move, but every dollar is going to count after Judge is (hopefully) brought back. Subtracting millions and adding others on minimum/pre-arb salaries with higher upside might be a worthy solution in the front office’s eyes.