Lamb signed a one-year deal with the White Sox over the offseason. He spent the year as a left-handed depth piece, picking up occasional starts at each of the four corner spots on the diamond as well as designated hitter. Over 131 plate appearances, Lamb hit a league average .212/.321/.389. He drew walks at a very strong 13% clip and popped six home runs in that limited time, but he also struck out in 29% of his plate appearances en route to that poor batting average.
That’s better production than Lamb had managed over the prior three seasons. He popped 59 home runs as the Diamondbacks’ regular third baseman between 2016-17, earning an All-Star nod in the latter of those two campaigns. But Lamb never regained his peak form upon suffering a shoulder injury in 2018 that eventually required surgery. Between 2018-20, he posted a .205/.309/.351 line in roughly one full season’s worth of playing time.
Lamb figures to assume a similar lefty bench bat role in Toronto. The Jays will take on what remains of his $1MM salary (approximately $171K) to bolster their position player depth as they look to erase a five-game deficit in the race for the American League’s final playoff spot. If the Jays do make the postseason, Lamb would not be eligible for the playoff roster because he was acquired after August 31. The 30-year-old will reach free agency this offseason.
Overton will be placed on waivers in the coming days. Toronto selected the 28-year-old to make his big league debut last month. Overton has been impressive in his first look, tossing 6 2/3 scoreless innings with four strikeouts and two walks. And he’d been excellent this season with the Jays’ top affiliate in Buffalo, where he worked to a 2.03 ERA over 57 2/3 innings. Nevertheless, the Jays front office is evidently skeptical he can continue to prevent runs at that level without generating many whiffs. The right-hander only punched out 21.6% of opposing hitters in Triple-A and has a below-average 9.7% swinging strike rate in his brief big league look.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if another club is willing to give Overton a longer look. In addition to his strong results, Overton has all three minor league option years remaining. Any claiming team could shuttle him back and forth between the majors and Triple-A for the next couple years — if he can carve out a permanent 40-man roster spot.