The Oakland Athletics have announced that they’ve claimed Andrew Lambo off waivers from the Pirates. Lambo was on the 60-day disabled list, and needed to be added back to the 40-man roster today, or be placed through waivers. The Pirates obviously opted for the latter route, and unlike Brandon Cumpton and Casey Sadler, Lambo didn’t clear.

Lambo missed most of the 2015 season with plantar fasciitis. He does have one option remaining, but the Pirates also have a need for roster spots this off-season, which is probably why they tried to sneak him through.

This has the feel of potentially being a Brandon Moss 2.0 situation. Moss was acquired by the Pirates in the 2008 Jason Bay trade, and was given a shot to be a starter in Pittsburgh due to his raw power. That power never showed up in the majors, but did appear in Triple-A in 2010. He bounced around a bit before ending up in Oakland, where he broke out in 2012 with a .291/.358/.596 line in 265 at-bats.

I don’t know if Lambo will have the same success, but the back story is similar. He was acquired as a former top prospect in all of baseball who had seen his stock drop. He finally turned his raw power into actual power in 2013, combining for 32 home runs and a .282/.347/.574 line between Altoona and Indianapolis.

Lambo never really got a shot in Pittsburgh, although that wasn’t entirely the fault of the Pirates. They sent him to Triple-A at the start of the 2014 season after a bad Spring Training. He put up similar numbers to 2013, but suffered an injury when it came time to potentially call him up. They added him to the roster as a bench option at the start of the 2015 season, but his injury put him out for most of the season after struggling for the first few weeks.

The comparison here is that Lambo finally showed his power in Triple-A, but the Pirates never really got a look at what he could do with that power in the majors. Oakland benefitted from the situation with Moss, and saw him break out. That doesn’t mean Lambo will also break out with them, but it will be interesting to see what he can do if he stays healthy and gets another shot at the majors.

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33 COMMENTS

  1. There wasn’t really room for him anymore. I’m not sure why they couldn’t have got something. Even a 20th round draft pick I’d even take a bucket of chicken to say we got something.

  2. I agree with Tim. He never really got a long look. Part of that was some SSS struggles and other part untimely injuries. I think he was worth holding onto for at least one more year

  3. Andrew Lambo is the answer to one of the hardest baseball trivia questions of all time.

    Who is the MLB player to participate in a triple play in his only game at first base… Andrew Lambo

    • I actually wouldn’t mind the Bucs taking a flier on Brett Wallace if the Pads were willing to trade him for nothing of consequence. Wallace had a pretty good half season with the Pads. His 30% K rate last season came with a .302 BA and .895 OPS. And amazingly, only 1 GIDP in 150 PAs. No huge L/R splits. And he can play a little 3b.

      I can think of worse placeholders until Bell.

  4. Geeze you would have thought Lambo is the next Anthony Rizzo. He’s gone thank goodness. I can’t see why people say he didn’t get a chance. He had every chance to make this club and didn’t do it.

    • He was all but handed the job at 1B going into ST 2014, but barely hit .100 with plenty of AB’s. When the opp’s are provided, it’s the player who has to take advantage. A change of scenery may pay off for him.

    • Lambo lost his swing in Venezeula, which is a pretty hostile place for a gringo, and took awhile to get it back. When he did he was swinging well until an injury which lead to Polanco’s premature call up, otherwise Lambo would have been promoted while in a hot streak. IN 2015 he suffered from low BABIP, not really his fault, prior to the foot injury. He’ll eventually play well for someone.

        • My son had one as a college basketball player and it shut him sown for about a month, but he hobbled a bit when he came back. From what I learned there is a wide degree of variability on the length of time you are out (maybe a few weeks to a few months), depending on the location and severity of the tear. It’s not like you can xray it and see it heal. It’s more of a “rest it until the swelling goes down and you feel better” type of prognosis. Then wear arch supports and tape it up and you are good to go.

  5. Not a good fielder, and hasn’t hit in a while, last winter season was a disaster, the few ab he received this year, horrible, this winter league dispicable. Good luck to him, but not a lost.

  6. And Oakland has very little to lose if the install Lambo at first for the first 100 ABs of next year. If he produces they have Brandon Moss 2.0 – and he will not cost them much.

    Of course a creative BMTIBB could have done the same thing. Left Bell at Indy – platooned Morse and Lambo and see how that worked until the Super Two deadline had passed. Instead the hold onto Decker and Sanchez and others who will never contribute.

  7. Tim,
    You went up about 100 points with this comment…

    “Lamb0 never really got a shot in Pittsburgh”

    I thought the way he was handled in Spring Training a couple of years ago when he “lost” his job was inane [actually would have liked to use a stronger adjective here].

    I love the Pirates – but Hurdle has no use for young players and the front office continues to prefer the Sean Rodriquez, Corey, Harts, Ike Davis, Gaby Sanchez – yes I could go on alternatives to developing and growing the young talent that have worked hard to earn their chance.

    • Come on Bruce. Lambo went something like 1-40 that Spring. You can’t bring a guy up and play him when he hits like that. If the Pirates had kept him on the roster it would have proven to the team that they were not trying to win. Additionally if he was to break out of the slump he needed Bs which he got at AAA. Lambo has the look of a AAAA a player when healthy so I don’t see much of a loss here. I never really got the love affair so many on here had with him through the years.

      • Nope – you are right – the really smart move was to trade a prospect for Ike Davis and keep trotting him out every day while he struggled to stay over the Mendoza line.

        • It doesn’t tell you *anything* that Lambo couldn’t manage to earn a chance with that kind of performance “blocking” him?

      • And adding ike Davis proves they “were trying to win”?
        How?

        I don’t get fans who are willing to “settle” for play in games – I was all for dumping the Pedro experiment and getting a real first baseman at the trade deadline this year – heck Brandon Moss would have been an improvement – oh wait the Cards got him…

  8. Oh the tragedy….

    On an unrelated and more important note…Nexen just (reportedly) accepted a $12.85M bid for Park.

      • I have the same thought. MLBTR has the Cards getting Davis…if they are willing to spend that kind of money, they easily can/would make an offer of 1/2 as much for Park.

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