The Athletics have struck a minor league deal with first baseman/outfielder Andrew Lambo to bring him back in 2016, Matt Eddy of Baseball America reports on Twitter. Lambo, 28, had elected free agency after being outrighted earlier this month.
It’s certainly great news to see Lambo sign on for another season. His 2016 campaign was cut short when he was forced to undergo surgery to treat testicular cancer. While there was never any particular reason to doubt he could recover and make it back to playing baseball, it is nevertheless a relief to see that he seems set to do just that. Indeed, Lambo has been deemed “fully recovered,” per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter).
Ultimately, Lambo made only a single plate appearance at the major league level last year and has just 100 total in his career. He also didn’t perform well last year at Triple-A, slashing just .255/.321/.384 over 240 plate appearances. But Lambo posted big power numbers in the upper minors in 2013, then improved his plate discipline while maintaining the pop in 2014 before losing much of 2015 to injury.
In the aggregate, there’s reason for the A’s to hope that Lambo regains his former trajectory and provides the organization with a big league option at some point in 2017. Oakland could conceivably award him some opportunities in the corner outfield, at first base, or in a DH capacity, though he’ll surely have to earn a roster spot in camp or through his play early in the year at Triple-A.