Mistake that doomed the Brewers #5: The DFA of Dinelson Lamet
Not following up the Hader trade with anything of significance on August 2nd was the first red flag for that deal. The second red flag was the Brewers designating Dinelson Lamet for assignment on August 3rd, two days after he was acquired and before he ever could throw a pitch for the team.
The way the Brewers explained it, as the “subsequent transactions” at the Trade Deadline played out, there simply wasn’t enough room in the bullpen for all the relievers they had acquired. They brought in four, well really three because Rosenthal was injured, but he was still on the 40 man, and they only sent out one in Hader.
So with Matt Bush, Taylor Rogers, Trevor Rosenthal, and Dinelson Lamet all in the picture now, how would they all fit? Should they DFA Jake McGee, who had only made a few appearances as the last man in the pen and hadn’t pitched particularly well? No, he’s important, he must be kept around.
Instead, the Brewers decided to cut Dinelson Lamet, one of the key pieces they acquired in the franchise-altering, clubhouse-stunning Josh Hader trade. Lamet has one of the best sliders in the game, had great traits that the Brewers excel at getting the most out of, and they never even let him unpack his bags.
They opted to keep Jake McGee instead of Lamet, putting him on waivers and watching him get claimed by the Colorado Rockies. He could’ve help start when the rotation was going through injuries, could’ve helped out of the bullpen, but no, the Brewers cut one of the four players they received for a franchise cornerstone 48 hours later. From a package they billed as a “mix of big league and minor league talent”. That quickly went from an even split to a majority prospect package.
And then, four days later, the Brewers decide to DFA Jake McGee. They completely changed their entire return for a franchise cornerstone for the worse because they decided to keep Jake McGee, a 36 year old over the hill reliever, and then released him four days later after another poor outing. Had no room in the bullpen for Lamet on August 3rd, but finally cleared room for him on August 7th when they dumped McGee. Too late.
That changed this whole trade from a first place team making a baseball trade to help their postseason hopes this year, to a first place team selling their closer at the Deadline and waving the white flag.