The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired left-handed pitcher John Lamb from the Cincinnati Reds, as first reported by Zach Links of MLB Trade Rumors. The Reds will receive cash in the deal, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
Lamb, 26, recently underwent back surgery and will start next season on the disabled list, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Pitching in parts of the last two seasons with the Reds, Lamb compiled a disappointing 2-12 record with a 6.17 ERA in 24 starts. While Lamb’s K/9 (8.7) has been solid, opposing hitters have had little trouble figuring him out as evidenced by his H/9 (10.7) and HR/9 (1.7).
A highly-touted prospect in the Royals system, Lamb was one of three lefties — along with Cody Reed and Brandon Finnegan — shipped to Cincinnati in the 2015 trade that sent Johnny Cueto to Kansas City. Lamb, once ranked by Baseball America as the Royals’ fourth-best prospect in 2011, has seen his stock diminish due to a myriad of injuries.
In addition to undergoing Tommy John surgery in June 2011, which cost him the rest of that season and most of 2012, Lamb also underwent back surgery during the 2015-16 offseason, forcing him to begin 2016 on the disabled list. In addition to his struggles in the majors, Lamb struggled in the minors last season, posting a 5.22 ERA in six outings.
However, he has enjoyed success as recently as 2015, going 10-2 with a 2.67 ERA in 20 starts split between the Royals and Reds Triple-A teams.
The Rays currently have Chris Archer, Alex Cobb, Jake Odorizzi, Blake Snell, and Drew Smyly penciled in for the starting rotation in 2017. Coming off his own TJ surgery, however, Cobb remains a question mark, and Snell only has 19 MLB starts under his belt. So despite his poor results, Lamb will likely get an opportunity in the majors next season when healthy.