Could a Diekman and Phillies Reunion Be Brewing?
Relief pitcher Jake Diekman is now a free agent, could a reunion between him and the Philadelphia Phillies be in the cards?View the original article to see embedded media.
Relief pitcher Jake Diekman had his 2022 option declined by the Oakland Athletics on Thursday per a statement from the MLB Players Association . Diekman was due $4 million in 2022, and instead the Athletics decided to pay him a $750K buyout.
Now that Diekman is a free agent, there will be many teams looking to acquire the services of the 34-year-old who posted a 3.86 ERA over 60.2 IP in 2021. One of those franchises could be the Philadelphia Phillies who not only need veteran bullpen help, but are also familiar with Diekman.
In 2007, the Phillies drafted Diekman in the 30th round of the MLB draft. He made his MLB debut for Philadelphia during the 2012 season and posted four and a half good seasons for the Phils before being traded along with Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers in 2015.
Since that trade, he has pitched for the Rangers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Kansas City Royals, and the Athletics.
A reunion with the Phillies makes sense after Cam Bedrosian, Archie Bradley, Ian Kennedy, and Hector Neris all have elected free agency. Diekman, while not a closer, could help bring veteran stability to the backend of the bullpen.
Additionally, he proved in the 2021 season that he still has the stuff to be successful at the major league level after a few down seasons. He has dealt with Ulcerative Colitis in the past, but following a successful surgery seems to be back on track.
Bringing back Diekman could also produce some nostalgia for the franchise who is in desperate need of a veteran in the bullpen who can help elicit memories from their last playoff run. Even though Diekman was in the Phillies' minor league system when Philadelphia last made the postseason, he was still a part of the family.
Diekman will likely be had on a one-year deal for a relatively cheap cost. The Phillies need to explore the possibility, even if it may not be the flashiest move.
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