According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times part of the reason he has been released may be his contract which was for $1.25M with the chance to earn an additional $1.65M based on incentives for games appeared in and games finished. He had already earned $200K – ($50K for appearing in 30 games and $150K for appearing in 35 game) and had he made one more appearance the Rays would have owed him an additional $150K.
Josh Lueke has appeared in 11 games with the Ray this year and has a record of 0-2 with a 3.75 ERA. He has struck out 15 hitters in his 12 innings of work but has struggled with his command issuing 8 non-intentional walks.
He has been spectacular with the Durham Bulls posting a 2-1 record with a 0.72 ERA (4ER/50IP) while striking out 70 and issuing 13 non-intentional walks.