Padres sign LHP Luebke through 2015

Published Mar. 30, 2012 11:27 p.m. ET

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) -- The San Diego Padres signed pitcher Cory Luebke to a four-year contract worth $12 million on Friday night.

Luebke was 6-10 with a 3.29 ERA in 46 games (17 starts) as a rookie last season. The deal has team options for 2016 and 2017 that could make the contract worth $27.75 million.

Luebke's 2016 option is worth $7.5 million with a $1.75 million buyout. The 27-year-old could earn $10 million if the team exercises its 2017 option, which includes a $250,000 buyout.

"Cory's been a little bit of a late bloomer," General manager Josh Byrnes said. "He's a guy who seems to be getting better and better. We feel like he has more weapons."

Byrnes said negotiations for Luebke picked up earlier this week, but initially began three weeks ago. Luebke, a supplemental first-round pick of the Padres in 2007, is 7-11 with a 3.38 ERA in 50 career appearances. He is expected to begin the season as the No. 2 starter in the Padres' rotation.

"This has swept me off my feet a little these last three weeks," Luebke said. "I tried to wrap my head around it. It was kind of a whirlwind."

Luebke is the third player along with outfielder Cameron Maybin and catcher Nick Hundley who has signed a long-term deal with the Padres this month. Maybin received a five-year deal worth at least $25 million with a $9 million option for 2017. Hundley received a three-year deal worth $9 million with a $5 million option for 2015.

"We view these guys as core players and we get to keep them beyond six years," Byrnes said.