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Cory Luebke is now a Pirate

Luebke signs a minor-league deal with Pittsburgh.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

I was scrolling through my Twitter feed today and came across an old name attached to a new team. Former lefty starter and product of the Padres Curse Cory Luebke has signed a minor-league contract with the Pirates, which includes an invitation to Spring Training.

As many of you already know, Luebke was the Padres 1st round pick in the 2007 draft and quickly made his way through the minor leagues. His first appearance with the Padres was a start in September 2010; a losing effort. He started 2011 in the bullpen and pitched his way back into the starting rotation. His strikeout (111 in 100 2/3rds innings) and walk rate (29 in 100 2/3rds) showed definite potential, leading the Padres to sign Cory to a 4 year extension.

The 2012 season began with Cory making 5 starts before being pulled from the rotation due to elbow tightness. A torn UCL was discovered in Cory's throwing arm and he underwent his first Tommy John surgery. He attempted several comebacks and endured a second UCL surgery before making his way back to the mound in relief efforts with Lake Elsinore.

The Padres declined Luebke's final option year, making him a free agent. Though Luebke expressed interest in returning to the Padres, it seems that Pittsburgh is taking a flyer on the once-talented left-hander. Here's hoping Cory can return to being successful doing what he loves and recaptures the talent he flashed while with us.