On Saturday, August 12, the Boston Red Sox sent Dinelson Lamet outright to Triple-A Worcester, according to the transaction log at MLB.com. This comes four days after the right-hander was designated for assignment. He will have the right to reject this assignment and elect free agency, though it’s not yet clear if he’s chosen to do so.
Lamet began the 2023 season in the Colorado Rockies organization, appearing in 16 games for the big league club. He posted a 12.66 ERA in 12 appearances out of the bullpen, and despite his struggles, the Rockies tried to transition him into a starting role. He put together a 10.80 ERA across four starts, and he was ultimately released after a four-inning, eight-run blow-up against the Braves.
Following his release, Lamet signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox and was assigned to Triple-A. The 31-year-old made five appearances (four starts) for Worcester, pitching to a 3.72 ERA in 19 1/3 innings. The Red Sox selected his contract on August 7, and he appeared in one game for the club, giving up four hits and three runs in two innings of work. He was DFA’d on Wednesday to make room for on the 40-man roster for Kyle Barraclough, another veteran right-handed arm and Lamet’s teammate from Triple-A.
It’s been a difficult few years for Lamet, who once looked like a promising member of the San Diego Padres’ core. He made his MLB debut in 2017, making 21 starts for the Padres. He threw 114 1/3 innings with a 4.57 ERA and 4.03 SIERA. He lost his 2018 season recovering from Tommy John surgery but came back strong in the second half of 2019, making 14 starts with a 4.07 ERA and 3.61 SIERA. He was even better during the shortened 2020 season, posting a 2.09 ERA in 12 starts. His ERA ranked third among qualified NL starters and finished fourth in voting for the NL Cy Young.
Unfortunately, things went south in 2021. An elbow injury that popped up at the end of the 2020 season kept him on the injured list for most of April, and forearm injuries plagued him as the year went on. The Padres eventually moved him to the bullpen, keeping him there in 2022. He continued to struggle with injury and inconsistency, and San Diego eventually flipped him to the Brewers at the trade deadline as a small piece in the Josh Hader deal. Milwaukee would designate him for assignment days later.
The Rockies scooped up Lamet for their own bullpen, where he had considerably more success. In 19 appearances, he pitched to a 4.05 ERA and 2.94 SIERA. After the season, he agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal with Colorado to avoid his final year of arbitration. The Rockies are still on the hook for that since they released Lamet earlier in the year. Lamet has more than enough service time to reject an outright assignment while retaining his remaining salary, meaning it’s possible he’ll return to the open market in the coming days.