PITTSBURGH – Forty-eight hours after announcing the acquisition of pitcher Dinelson Lamet from the San Diego Padres in the Josh Hader trade, the Milwaukee Brewers designated him for assignment in a flurry of roster moves Wednesday afternoon.
“Dinelson has a good arm and was included in the trade to help balance the deal,” Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said. “As subsequent transactions went through, the roster got tougher. We are hopeful that we will be able to keep it in our system.”
Lamet finished fourth in Cy Young Award voting in 2020 but has since been dogged by injuries and shaky performances, rising to a 5.46 earned run average over 59 ⅓ innings over the past two seasons.
Why the Brewers decided to designate Lamet for assignment
By designating Lamet, 30, for assignment, any other team can claim him and add him to their 40-man roster. If he hits waivers, the Brewers can demote him to the minor league roster or be released.
While there was no guarantee he would perform at the level the Brewers needed, after allowing 12 earned runs over his last seven innings, the team had spoken in recent days about their faith in the ability for him to be a key piece of the bullpen.
“I think it was important for us to feel like we were stabilizing our bullpen, realizing how big a piece Josh is to that and was,” Stearns said Monday of Lamet and Taylor Rogers, the other major league reliever. who was sent to Milwaukee i. the trade. “So to be able to bring back two major league pieces that fit that group, I think it’s helpful.”
Brewers manager Craig Counsell said on Tuesday: “This is a guy who has been elite in this league. He’s had a lot of injuries and has gone through some struggles. You want to be a little helpful to him and get him back there. But I think you’d ask any hitter and anybody who was on the sidelines watching him pitch when he was good, and he’s the best slider in baseball when he was good.
“We have to work to get there, but obviously there is a lot of talent and we are getting a player with a lot of talent and kind of see what happens.”
The rationale for the DFA, as explained by the Brewers: Lamet had recently cleared the five-year service time threshold, which meant he could opt out of most of the minor leagues. Left with a roster crunch, characterized by Stearns, the Brewers had to clear an active roster spot and saw Lamet as the last man in the bullpen.
One of the reasons Lamet was included in the return for Hader, a three-time National League reliever on the year, was to help even out the amount of salary taken by both sides.
But if he was to become a DFA candidate two days later after adding just two more players to the roster – a relatively low number considering the flurry of activity teams are doing at the deadline – the always move a lot.
There is also the question of why Lamet was the player on the active roster who was chosen as the one to be designated for assignment considering his upside.
Brewers Keston Hiura recalls; Pedro Severino named for assignment
The Brewers also recalled Keston Hiura from Class AAA and designated catcher Pedro Severino for assignment.
Hiura was one of the team’s better hitters with an OPS of .805 before being picked up on July 13 but the roster fit as currently constructed was not optimal. The Brewers opted instead to carry a catcher, an experiment that has now run its course.
Severino missed the first 80 games of the season while suspended for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug and, even after returning, saw sporadic playing time. He played in eight games, going 4 for 18 at the plate, and struck out as a pinch hitter in a critical spot on Tuesday night.
Reliever Matt Bush, acquired via trade from Texas late Monday night, was activated and Peter Strzelecki was optioned to Class AAA.