On Wednesday night, the Kansas City Royals announces that they’ve agreed to a one year deal with lefty Jake Diekman. The deal also includes a mutual option for the 2020 season. Next season, Diekman will earn a $2.25MM base salary, there’s also a $500K buyout on the option, which makes the deal a guaranteed $2.75M for the southpaw.
A Look a Diekman’s Career
Over his seven year big league career, Diekman has pitched with the Phillies, Rangers, and Diamondbacks. Last season he split the year in Texas and Arizona, and he saw his numbers shoot up. Over 53 innings, he posted a 4.73 ERA and 1.50 WHIP while walking 5.2 batters per nine innings.
Diekmann throws hard and misses a ton of bats, but as last season showed he also has a knack for losing his command. This wasn’t just a one year thing, as since he came into the league, he is averaging 11.0 K/9, but at the same time he is issuing a concerning 4.9 BB/9.
Though he has control issues, Diekman has posted some nice splits. For his career, he is limiting righties to a mark of .204/.320/.337, and lefties are hitting to just a .255/346/.346 slash line. Although in 2018 he posted reverse splits, as lefties hit .329/.443/.438 against the southpaw and righties hit to a .191/.303/.321 mark.
What He Brings to KC
This is a solid addition of the Royals, though they figure to be a bottom tier team again. Last season their bullpen was ranked last in the American League. And this week they have added a pair of quality veteran arms.
Diekman signed with the team yesterday, and earlier in the week they locked up former Tampa Bay Rays closer Brad Boxberger. They both will certainly be solid arms at the disposal of manager Ned Yoast. Both relievers are quality veteran arms, and should help improve this unit next season.