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2020 Diamondbacks Decisions: Jake Lamb

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To tender or not to tender - that is the question...

Miami Marlins v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Adam Jones results

Sorry, Adam. The biggest turnout in this exercise so far decided that you should not be offered a contract by the Diamondbacks this winter. 324 votes, and just over 60% (196) decided to wish you the best in your future endeavors. Of the others, among the 136 people who expressed a preference with regard to contract length, a majority (58.8%) would offer you a one-year contract.

With regard to price, there was the usual broad range of selections. Indeed, going by the rainbow pie above, I think Jones may be the only candidate———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-0p[[[[[[-te across all possible categories from league minimum to $8 million a year (I’d like to thank Mrs. Jones for popping in to the SnakePit...). $2 million was the most popular choice, at 22.5%, but the median contract - half above and half below - came in slightly higher, at $2.5 million. However, due to the above paragraph, the SnakePit has decreed that no contract will be offered by the Diamondbacks to Adam Jones for the 2020 season.

Jake Lamb

Having dealt with all the free-agents we move on to the arbitration candidates. I’m not going to do all of these, with most being no brainers. I’m going to presume all the ones that are in the first or second year or arbitration will be offered, even though that includes my (somewhat) irrational hatred of Matt Andriese. Weirdness: no-one who appeared for the team in 2020 appears to be in their first year of arbitration. Something to remember for the 2021-22 winter. However, they make up for that by having eight such men in their final year of arbitration. Again, most of these are not worth discussing: But there are a couple who appear potentially to be legitimate candidates to get non-tendered.

The first of these is Jake Lamb. MLB Trade Rumors projected Lamb to receive a $5.0 million salary for 2020, so that’s going to be the figure we’ll use. It’s also going to be a straight yes/no, without questions about contract length or price.

Last season, Lamb was expected to be the “strong” side of a platoon at first-base with Christian Walker. However, hit the IL barely a week into the season with a Grade 2 strain of his left quadriceps muscle. It was estimated he’d be out six weeks, but it ended up being twice that. And by the time he returned, Walker had made the position his own. It didn’t help that Jake batted only .186 the rest of the way, and playing time became increasingly hard for him to find. Lamb started only 11 times in September, and even his well-known ability to destroy right-handers seemed to desert him. Jake managed only a .607 OPS vs. RHP, in close to two hundred PA this year.

$5m for a player below replacement level last year is only a good investment if you think he’s in line for a rebound - for example, if his downturn was injury-related. But with Eduardo Escobar and Walker looking well-entrenched at the corner infield spots, there’s a real question-mark over whether Lamb has a spot in 2020. The most likely scenario for one sees Ketel Marte remaining in center, with Escobar moving over to second-base, opening the hot corner up for Lamb. But over the past two years, Jake has averaged only 67 games a season, and put up an OPS+ of 75. The team may feel that can spend the $5 million better, and as we saw with Chris Owings, Mike Hazen has shown a willingness to let long-term D-backs go.

Below is the straight yes/no question mentioned above: here’s the link if you can’t see it. But, of course, feel free to explain your logic in the comments.