Dodgers Rumors: Jake Diekman Drawing Interest From LA
Fresh off the heels of the bullpen blowing another game, the Dodgers are showing interest in Royal’s reliever Jake Diekman.
Tuesday night the Dodgers’ bullpen blew another game with the blame falling on Kenley Jansen this time. It should come as no surprise that the Dodgers are showing interest in another reliever to beef up their bullpen. This time it is Royal’s left-handed reliever, Jake Diekman. With Julio Urias the lone southpaw in the pen, this move would make a lot of sense.
The article mentions that the Dodgers have a scout watching the Royals so the team appears to be seriously interested in Jake Diekman. The Phillies and Braves were also mentioned as the deadline is shaping up to be a seller’s market with plenty of teams looking for bullpen help but only a few legit relievers are available.
Diekman is having an interesting season for the Royals. On the surface, he looks like nothing special with an 0-6 record and an ERA of 4.97. But upon a deeper dive into his season, you see exactly why Andrew Friedman would have interest in adding Jake Diekman to LA’s bullpen. In 38 innings this season, Jake has struck out 55 batters.
Diekman can also bring the heat out of the bullpen which is even more intriguing given he is left-handed. He has a fastball that averages 96 miles per hour, a wipeout slider that averages 85 miles per hour, and a heavy sinker that also sits in the upper 90’s. Once in a blue moon, Diekman will throw a changeup but he is primarily a fastball-slider pitcher.
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One of the other intriguing aspects of Jake Diekman’s game is that he can get left and right-handed batters out. This season, lefties have hit .200 against him while right-handed hitters are hitting just .208. Jake has allowed only three home runs this season with all three of them coming against right-handed hitters.
Contract wise, Diekman fits in the Dodgers’ goal of staying under the luxury tax as he makes just $2.75 million this season. There is a mutual option in his contract for 2020 that comes at a rate of $5.75 million with the option to buy him out for just $500K.
If the Dodgers’ game plan is to add multiple relievers at the trade deadline, Diekman makes sense given his low salary and cost to acquire. The Dodgers could package a pair of lower-level minor leaguers without tapping into their top ten prospects which would leave them ammo to go after another big-time reliever before the trade deadline.
With exactly two weeks remaining before the single trade deadline, the action should start picking up fairly soon. Teams are no longer going to wait until the hours leading up to the deadline without the waiver trade deadline in effect.
The Royals already traded one of their assets in Martin Maldonado and now are looking to unload their other assets. The Dodgers should be able to strike a deal soon if they truly want Jake Diekman.