The Tampa Bay Rays are in talks to sign veterans southpaw Jake Diekman to a major league deal as they look to address their sudden need in the bullpen due to the loss of LHP Garrett Cleavinger, who is now out for the season after injuring his ACL on Sunday.
Diekman, 36, has been a mainstay in the big leagues since the 2012 season when he made his debut with the Philadelphia Phillies. Over the past decade, he has spent time with the Phillies, Rangers, Diamondbacks, Royals, Athletics, Red Sox, and most recently with the White Sox, with whom he pitch in 13 games this season before being released earlier this month.
Over those 13 outings, Diekman allowed 14 runs — 10 earned — on 11 hits while he walked 13 and struck out 11, facing a total of 58 hitters.
Although he is in the twilight of his career, Diekman still features a fastball in the upper 90’s that he mixes with a sweeper and a change-up. Thus far in 2023, his change-up usage has surged compared in year’s past and he hasn’t enjoyed much success while throwing the pitch; meanwhile, he is depending less on his sweeper and fastball.
According to Jeff Passan, the two sides are still in talks with an agreement expected to be reached within the next two days.
Left-hander Jake Diekman and the Tampa Bay Rays are finalizing a major league deal, sources tell ESPN. Diekman, 36, was DFA’d by the Chicago White Sox and would replace Garrett Cleavinger — who hurt his right ACL on Sunday — in the Rays’ bullpen. Should be done in next 48 hours.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 9, 2023