Diekman back on 2-year deal, bolsters A's 'pen

December 3rd, 2019

OAKLAND -- Addressing their bullpen issues was at the top of the A’s to-do list this offseason. On Tuesday, they bolstered the relief corps by bringing back one of their own. 

The A’s agreed to a two-year contract with left-hander . The deal comes with a guaranteed $7.5 million and includes a team option for 2022, according to a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan. 

Diekman was acquired from the Royals on July 27 in an effort to help shore up Oakland’s late-inning woes. The 32-year-old’s fastball was impressive as it nearly hit triple digits, but location issues led to mixed results. Diekman made 28 appearances with the A’s, going 1-1 with a 4.43 ERA with 21 strikeouts and 16 walks over 20 1/3 innings.

With the A’s electing not to tender a contract to Ryan Buchter on Monday, Diekman adds some left-handed depth in a bullpen that was down to T.J. McFarland. A’s manager Bob Melvin utilized Diekman against both left-handers and right-handers in 2019, making the veteran more valuable than just a lefty-on-lefty specialist. 

More additions are certain to be made as the A’s look to revamp a bullpen that led the Majors with 30 blown saves, but Diekman was a helpful addition at the Trade Deadline and figures to continue to slot into high-leverage situations in 2020. 

Over eight big league seasons, Diekman owns a 3.90 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in his time with the Phillies, Rangers, Diamondbacks, Royals and A’s. 

In addition to the Diekman deal, which puts Oakland’s 40-man roster at 38 players, the A’s also announced the signing of right-hander Jordan Weems and outfielder Dillon Thomas to Minor League deals with invitations to Spring Training.