May 10: The Rays have now officially signed Diekman, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The corresponding move had been reported earlier today as righty Chase Anderson getting designated for assignment, which is also now official.
May 9: The Rays are finalizing a major league deal with left-hander Jake Diekman, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN, who adds that the deal is expected to be finalized in the next 48 hours. Once the move is official, a corresponding move or moves will be required to get the southpaw onto the active and 40-man rosters.
Diekman, 36, began the season with the White Sox but was released after posting a 7.94 ERA in 13 outings. In spite of those unfortunate results, he has quickly found a new home with the Rays. As Passan points out, Tampa recently got the unfortunate news that left-hander Garrett Cleavinger will likely miss the rest of the season due to an injury to the ACL in his right knee. In order to counteract that blow to their lefty relief mix, they’ll insert Diekman into Cleavinger’s spot.
It won’t be any kind of significant commitment from the Rays since Diekman already has a salary of $3.5MM this year and a $1MM buyout on an option for 2024 as part of the deal he signed with the Red Sox going into 2022. Since the White Sox released him, they will be on the hook for the majority of that, with the Rays only responsible for the prorated league minimum for any time Diekman is on the roster, with that amount subtracted from what the Sox pay.
Diekman has been a useful reliever in the past and the Rays will surely be hoping to find a way to get him back to that previous form. Control has always been an issue for the lefty as he only once posted a walk rate below 10%, which was way back in 2013, and his career walk rate currently sits at 13.3%. But he’s been most successful when overcoming those walks by racking up strikeouts. From 2012 to 2022, he struck out between 25% and 32% of batters faced in each full season, as well as punching out 36.9% in the shortened 2020 campaign. However, it’s been just 19% in the early going here in 2023.
Despite that fairly consistent strikeout stuff, the walks have caused his ERAs to fluctuate wildly over the years. He’s finished above 4.00 in four of the last seven full seasons while getting as low as 2.53 in 2017 and a sparkling 0.42 figure in the truncated 2020 year.
Since the Rays will be paying him the league minimum, there’s very little risk in giving him a shot to see if he can get a better handle on his stuff. If it doesn’t work out, they can quickly make him another casualty of the ongoing roster churn they do at the fringes of their roster without really losing anything.
Nice to know eppler is hard at work. Only the mets think having 1 lefty in the pen is enough. Its ok though cause we have the great brigham hunter and yacabonis 3 pack
Diekman is awful. They’re not missing out.
Hey don’t be a Diek man.
It’s hard to believe that the RS got the WS to take on his salary, let alone throw McGuire into the deal.
JoeBrady: If you’ve been paying any attention to the WS, you know they would have taken a janitor and a parking attendant to be named later to give the RS McGuire.
WAS awful. Remember he’s on the Rays now and soon he’ll be drinking their magic rejuvenation potion.
It is amazing how the Rays can make something out of nothing, as in no money to spend. I really hope they go all the way this year in spite of Diekeman.
It’s all about talent imo. Don’t care about handedness if you’re putting up the numbers. And ouch, bruh, everyone think they can manage the Mets better. Tough crowd
It would be fitting if the Rays could figure out Diekman. As an A’s fan watching Diekman was like watching a popsicle on the sidewalk in 100+ degree heat; it’s going to wind up a mess, just a question of when and how.
Fair to blame Eppler for the BP and other depth issues, but what realistically is out there and available? What other team has lost 4 starters and managed to replace them?
Quintana is not a loss he should of never been signed in the first place. Scherzer got himself suspended. Verlander is back now and carrasco is mediocre anyway. Its not evem about signing diekman per se. Could of easily signefmd chafin and they got cheap. Now sign Gary sanchez who cant even hit minlr league pitching. We are lost!
This dude has been a turd sandwich the past couple seasons… Hopefully the Rays see something in him that can be quickly corrected.
Knowing the Rays he’ll probably pitch his way onto the AL All Star Team. Rays let him walk after the season, a schmuck GM signs him to a 2-yr/$8M deal, and he turns back into the White Sox version of himself. TB literally plays this movie on a loop.
In the end rays just buying time for the short term. Pitchers ready in triple A but first can’t loose a year of control that’s what the rays do. Then instead of June call ups they now have to wait further cause late September and October options maybe needed. So deikman stays for 3 outings or does ok and stay for 6 weeks or so
Yes, correct I’m to a fecal slider.
Watch Diekman become the Rays next great reclamation success
Pedro Martinez’s Mango Tree
So when does Diekman win the Cy? Next year or the next two?
10 bucks says he pitches to an ERA and FIP under 3 with the rays.
I’m certain the Rays are hoping to reduce his FIP.
Rays make him into a dependable high leverage RP to make fools out of the Six again.
Reynaldo: Well, he did stink with the WS, but so does the entire bullpen.
One team’s trash is the Rays’ treasure.
Would this now out the Rays on the hook for the $1M buyout?
Nope that million dollar cost on the white sox rays on the hook for the prorated portion of how ever king he stays on team
Of the vet min only
Rays will make him look like an ace.
Last 150 innings and 4 years his ERA has been 5+. Shame on the CWS not getting some 18 years old prospect for him in spring training.
Time to Rays Up. Diek em good