The Tampa Bay Rays will try to work their magic with another bullpen castoff.
Jake Diekman, recently released by the Chicago White Sox, is finalizing a major league contract with Tampa Bay, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Tuesday, citing sources. Passan added the deal was expected to be completed within the next 48 hours.
Diekman has pitched for seven organizations over the course of his 12-year Major League Baseball career. That includes the Boston Red Sox, who shipped him to Chicago at last year’s MLB trade deadline for catcher Reese McGuire and a player to be named later. The left-hander posted a 4.23 ERA and a 1.487 WHIP across 44 appearances (38 1/3 innings) with Boston in 2022.
It’s been a shaky 2023 season for Diekman, as he stumbled to a 7.94 ERA in 13 appearances (11 1/3 innings) with the White Sox before Chicago cut ties with the veteran reliever. He’s had varying levels of success in the past, though, and the Rays historically have been good at extracting value from pitchers who faltered elsewhere. Perhaps Diekman ultimately will fall under that category. After all, he showed swing-and-miss stuff as recently as last season, when he struck out 12.3 batters per nine innings in 70 relief appearances (57 2/3 innings) with the Red Sox and White Sox.
Diekman has pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics in addition to the Red Sox and White Sox. He owns a 3.96 ERA and a 1.415 WHIP in 612 career appearances (525 innings) ahead of joining the Rays.