The Oakland A’s signed relief pitcher Jake Diekman to a two-year contract on Tuesday, first reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN and later confirmed by the team. The deal also includes a club option for a third year. The total guarantee is $7.5 million, reports Passan.
The left-handed Diekman was acquired by the A’s in a July trade and finished the 2019 season in Oakland, but this winter the team declined his $5.75 million option for 2020. That made him a free agent, but the two sides have now reunited with a new multi-year contract. He’ll pitch at age 33 next season.
On the field, Diekman is a classic case of effectively wild. His 96 mph fastball is tough to square up and his slider generates lots of misses, all of which helps him rack up strikeouts at an enormous rate (career: 11.2 K/9, 28.2% rate). However, he often struggles to find the plate, leading to consistent trouble with walks (career: 5.0 BB/9, 12.5% rate).
That latter issue was on full display after his arrival in Oakland, as he allowed nearly one free pass every inning — 19 total (16 BB, 3 HBP) in just 20⅓ frames. However, despite his shaky numbers, he still managed to get the job done by converting 13…