1:00 p.m.: The Rockies announced Lamet’s claim, adding that the right-hander Ashton Goudeau has been designated for assignment in order to create space on the roster.
12:46 p.m.: The Rockies claimed right-handed Dinelson Lamet on brewers’ waivers, reports Adam McCalvy of MLB.com (Twitter link). Lamet, which the Brewers acquired alongside Taylor Rogers and prospects Esteury Ruiz and Robert Gasser in monday surprise Josh Hader commerce, was designated for assignment only 48 hours after its acquisition.
At the time of Lamet’s DFA, Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns told reporters that Lamet “has a good arm and was included in the trade to help balance the deal,” but that the “subsequent transactions” made it harder on the list. . The Brewers added right-handers matt bush and Trevor Rosenthal in separate trades a day after the acquisition of Lamet.
Still, the quick DFA makes one wonder how much Lamet really factored into the plans. The 2020 Cy Young contender has been plagued with injuries since the end of that truncated season and has driven in 14 runs in just 12 2/3 innings this season. His fastball, which averaged 97 mph in 2020, has averaged 95.3 mph this season. Of particular note for the Padres, who are heading into a second straight season paying the luxury tax, Lamet earns $4.775 million in 2022. Including him in that trade not only meant giving up a player who had apparently been ousted from a spot on the roster, but also one that would have a non-zero impact on the team’s luxury ledger. Stearns’ use of the phrase “balancing the deal”, then, could be interpreted as referring to talents or in more fiscal terms.
Either way, the Rockies could now benefit from both their division rival and NL Central executives feeling their rosters were running out of space for Lamet. As recently as 2020, the 6’3″, 228-pound Lamet looked like a foundational play in San Diego. He made a full slate of 12 starts in this pandemic-truncated campaign, hitting a brilliant 2.09 ERA with a 34.8% strikeout rate, 7.5% walk rate and a ground ball rate of 36.9%. That performance was good enough to land Lamet, just turning 28, a fourth-place finish in the National League’s Cy Young vote.
However, Lamet’s 2020 season also ended with him heading to the injured list with a bicep injury sustained in his final outing of the season. He would go on to miss the 2020 playoffs, and his 2021 season was limited to just 47 innings due to a forearm issue that sent him to the injured list twice.
Those injuries, coupled with this year’s lackluster performance, resulted in a grisly 5.46 ERA in the now 30-year-old Major League final 59 1/3 innings. Along with the reduced fastball, he saw his strikeout rate drop from 34.8% to 26.9%, while his walk rate fell from 7.5% to a dismal 11.4%. Lamet may have had some bad luck in 2021, posting a .344 batting average on balls in play despite hard contact at levels well below league average, but it hasn’t been all that bad. the case in 2022. Yes, his .412 BABIP is through the roof, but so is his opponents average exit speed (93.1 mph) and 50% hard hit rate.
For a needy team like the Rockies, however, there’s no harm in getting a relatively inexpensive look at Lamet. They’ll be owed the prorated portion of his salary — around $1.6 million by the end of the season — but they can also control him through arbitration this winter if he’s impressed over time. Seen in this light, there would have been a case for one of the clubs highest on waiver priority (e.g. Nationals, A’s, Tigers, Royals, Pirates) claiming Lamet, but despite the The right-hander’s obvious talent, not all clubs are going to be optimistic about his chances of bouncing back (or taking that extra cash at this stage of the season).
Goudeau, also 30, pitched 20 1/3 innings in this, his second stint with the Rockies, for whom he made his MLB debut in 2020. He was scored for a 7.08 ERA with a strikeout rate of 17% and a walk of 10.6%. rate, however, both far worse than the league average. His work at Triple-A Albuquerque was even tougher, as evidenced by 43 earned runs allowed in just 37 innings of work (10.46 ERA).