Feb. 23: The Braves announced their one-year deal with Lamb. While it is technically a Major League deal, it’s also a non-guaranteed deal, per the team. That means Lamb could yet be cut in Spring Training for only a portion of his salary. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that salary to be $1MM.
Feb. 21: The Braves are in agreement on a contract with corner infielder Jake Lamb, reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com (Twitter link). It’s expected to be a major league pact, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). The deal is pending a physical. Lamb is a client of CAA Sports.
Lamb once looked like a building block for the Diamondbacks, with whom he began his career. Between 2016-17, he hit .248/.345/.498 with 59 home runs, earning an All-Star berth in the latter season. Unfortunately, the left-handed slugger was plagued by a shoulder issue that eventually required surgery in 2018, knocking him off course. Over the past three seasons, Lamb has just a .205/.309/.351 line with 15 homers across 563 plate appearances. That led Arizona to release him last September.
To his credit, Lamb hooked on with the Athletics after being cut loose by the Diamondbacks and hit very well down the stretch. That production came over just thirteen games on the heels of two-plus seasons of subpar performance, though, so it seems unlikely he’s completely regained his footing at the plate.
The Braves needn’t get his return to peak form for this to make for a worthwhile addition, though. Lamb won’t see much action at first base, thanks to the presence of reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman, but third base was a problem area last season. The combination of Austin Riley, Johan Camargo and the since-departed Adeiny Hechavarría struggled to varying degrees at the plate. Lamb isn’t a sure thing to produce himself, but he’ll bring a left-handed bat with some power to the mix, which could pair well with the right-handed hitting Riley. Non-roster invitees Jason Kipnis and Ehire Adrianza will try to work their way onto the roster during spring training, as well.