Left-handed reliever Jake Diekman has been traded to the Oakland A's, league sources tell ESPN. Diekman had been pursued by a number of teams on trade market before Kansas City agreed to deal him to A's. Oakland bullpen has monster stuff with Treinen, Hendriks, Trivino, Diekman.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 27, 2019
Diekman has been a hot name the last week or so, with him rumored to be on many a radar, most notably the Atlanta Braves. So, who did the A’s get?
Diekman is well-traveled to say the least. He was drafted in the 30th round of the 2007 MLB draft by the Philadelphia Phillies out of Cloud County Community College. He broke into the bigs five years later with the Phillies, going 1-1 with a respectable 3.95 ERA and 3.53 FIP albeit alongside a worrisome 1.65 WHIP. From there he made stops in Texas, Arizona, and Kansas City before landing in Oakland on Saturday.
Diekman the pitcher
Diekman is now 32 years old. He stands at 6’4 and 200 pounds with four pitches. His primary pitch appears to be an 85 mph slider with a mid-90s fastball and sinker to accompany it. He can throw a change, clocked as high as 91 mph, but that is a more rare sight.
He wasn’t having a superb year by any means, posting an 0-6 record behind a 4.75 ERA but a more manageable 3.37 FIP and 1.34 WHIP. He’s struck out 63 over 41.2 innings and has long shown the ability to strike people out in bunches with 446 career Ks in 353.2 innings.
What it means for Oakland
Look at the bullpen that Passan mentioned. Diekman joins Blake Treinen, Liam Hendricks, and Lou Trivino at the back of the A’s pen. You know what Diekman is that the other three aren’t? Left-handed. The A’s now have some variety for late innings instead of relying on their right-handers. The A’s are 11 games over .500 and although they may not catch Houston, they now make a stronger case in the wild card push.