The Diamondbacks announced Monday that they’ve claimed right-hander Jordan Weems off waivers from the Athletics. Veteran lefty Ryan Buchter was designated for assignment in a corresponding roster move.
Weems, 28, was designated for assignment himself over the weekend. He’s allowed three runs in 4 1/3 frames for Oakland this season and, dating back to last summer’s debut, has yielded a total of eight runs on 12 hits and 10 walks with 22 strikeouts in 18 1/3 frames.
A third-round pick of the Red Sox back in 2011, Weems never made it to The Show in Boston before reaching minor league free agency and latching on with the A’s. He posted solid numbers with Oakland’s MLB club last summer, albeit in 14 1/3 innings, but has been hit hard in a trio of brief stints at the Triple-A level: 6.67 ERA in 29 2/3 innings.
Weems averages better than 95 mph with his heater, however, and turned in a solid 13.1 percent swinging-strike rate in 2020. The Diamondbacks, starved for bullpen help, are surely hoping he can rediscover some of that 2020 form in a change of setting. Weems also has all three minor league options remaining, so he’s a flexible piece both for now and in future seasons if he indeed sticks on the 40-man roster.
As for the 34-year-old Buchter, he’ll now either be traded, placed on outright waivers or released in the next week. He’s tossed 14 2/3 innings of relief out of the Arizona bullpen so far but hasn’t had anywhere near the level of success he’s had for the majority of his big league career.
Buchter entered the season with a 2.90 ERA, a 26.8 percent strikeout rate and an 11.2 percent walk rate but has served up nine earned runs in 14 2/3 innings (5.52 ERA) with as many walks as strikeouts (19.1 percent apiece). His fastball, which averaged 92.6 mph in each of the past three seasons, is down to an average of 90.9 mph in 2021. Buchter’s 7.9 percent swinging-strike rate is also the lowest of his career.