The Red Sox have reportedly agreed to sign free-agent reliever Jake Diekman, pending a physical, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo. The details of the contract are not yet known, though Cotillo reports it is believed to be a multi-year deal.
Diekman, 35, has spent the last 2 1/2 seasons with the Athletics after getting traded from the Royals in July 2019. Most recently, the left-hander posted a 3.86 ERA and 4.46 FIP to go along with 83 strikeouts to 34 walks across 67 appearances (60 2/3 innings pitched) for Oakland in 2021.
A former 30th round draft pick of the Phillies out of Cloud County Community College in 2007, Diekman has previously played for five different teams in the Phils, Rangers, Diamondbacks, Royals, and A’s. The Red Sox have been linked to the Nebraska native in the past and now acquire his services via free agency.
Listed at 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, Diekman operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a four-seam fastball, a slider, a sinker, and a changeup. His 31.7% strikeout rate and 35.1% whiff rate were among the top marks in the majors last year.
Against right-handed hitters in 2021, Diekman held opponents to a .200/.289/.421 slash line. Against left-handed hitters, he yielded a slash line of .229/.379/.337.
By adding Diekman, the Sox have truly bolstered the left side of their bullpen after reportedly inking fellow southpaw Matt Strahm to a one-year deal earlier on Sunday.
Beyond those two, Boston currently has three other left-handed relievers on their major-league roster in Austin Davis, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Josh Taylor. That being said, it’s likely that chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. are not yet done when it comes to adding bullpen depth ahead of Opening Day.
(Picture of Jake Diekman: Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)