Dodgers pitchers and catchers report at the end of the week, but they're not done adding to their system and kicking in invitations to spring training along the way.
The team's official list of non-roster invitees includes 20 players, among them former major league reliever Daniel Hudson and former top Yankees prospect Trey Sweeney, but a whole host of other minor leagues will be present at Camelback Ranch, possibly to compete for starts with the stacked major league Dodgers in 2024.
On Saturday, the Dodgers signed righty reliever Dinelson Lamet to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training. He had a very tough year with the Rockies and Red Sox in 2023, but the Dodgers are fond of giving those kinds of pitchers one more drive to see what could be salvaged. Also presumably present at spring training will be Stephen Gonsalves and Jesse Hahn, who were both signed to minor-league contracts this offseason and struggled in the majors with other teams.
Dodgers sign former Padres pitcher Dinelson Lamet to a minor league deal
Lamet was a Padre for five seasons, with his best year coming in 2020, when he pitched 69 innings over 12 starts for a 2.09 ERA. It seemed to be a one-off, though, because his ERA rose with each following year before he was traded to the Brewers in part of the package that sent Josh Hader to San Diego. Lamet was DFA'ed just a few days later, then picked up by the Rockies, who he stayed with until late June 2023 before signing a minor-league deal with the Red Sox.
Over just 27 2/3 innings in Colorado and Boston, he pitched for a yikes-inducing 11.71 ERA, gave up seven home runs, and walked 23 batters. Like with any of the other strange minor-league signings that the Dodgers tend to make, this is a head scratcher, but similarly weird things have happened. Evan Phillips was DFA'ed by the Rays in 2021 and promptly picked up by the Dodgers. Over the 2022 and 2023 seasons, he had a 1.59 ERA and is on his way to being one of the most feared relievers in baseball.
Spring training might be do-or-die for Lamet, but if he can show up and show out, it could be yet another win the Dodgers can claim after an historic offseason.