Arizona Diamondbacks designate Jake Lamb for assignment

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks kept up their roster overhaul on Thursday, parting ways with former All-Star infielder Jake Lamb.

Lamb was designated for assignment after struggling for the majority of three straight seasons. First baseman/outfielder Pavin Smith, who was the No. 7 overall pick in 2017, will take Lamb's place on the roster and be making his big-league debut.

"Those are hard conversations to have,'' Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. "Jake Lamb has meant so much to this organization and he's meant so much to me as well.''

The 29-year-old Lamb looked like a future star at third base just a few years ago. He hit 29 homers in 2016 and then made the NL All-Star team in 2017 while setting career-highs with 30 homers and 105 RBIs. Since then, he's battled injuries and inconsistency and hit just 12 homers over the past three seasons.

He didn't get much playing time for the D-backs this season and had just five hits in 43 at-bats for a .116 average. He had a prorated salary of $2,042,593. Arizona GM Mike Hazen said he still believes in Lamb as a player but he needed at-bats that the Diamondbacks couldn't provide.

"I think he probably fell victim to the 60-game season more than anyone else,'' Hazen said. "I do think a longer runway for certain areas of the lineup probably would have benefited him.''

The team thanked Lamb for his seven years in the desert on social media.

Hazen has been aggressive reworking the team's roster during a disappointing season. The Diamondbacks were 85-77 in 2019 and had hopes of contending in the NL West, but they've lost 18 of their past 20 game and are in last place with a 15-29 overall record going into Thursday night's game.

At the Aug. 31 trade deadline, Hazen traded starting pitcher Robbie Ray to the Blue Jays, left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin to the Cubs, closer Archie Bradley to the Reds and center fielder Starling Marte to the Marlins. The selloff was disappointing for Lovullo and the players, though not totally unexpected.

Lamb, Ray, Chafin and Bradley were all part of the 2017 D-backs team that made it to the NL Division Series, which is the last time the franchise was in the playoffs.