D-backs reacquire Ziegler, land Diekman

Arizona sends Minor Leaguers to Marlins, Rangers for relievers

July 31st, 2018

PHOENIX -- The D-backs bolstered their bullpen just before the non-waiver Trade Deadline on Tuesday, adding righty and lefty Jake Diekman to a group that led the National League in ERA and was second in all of baseball to the Yankees.
In looking at the trade landscape, D-backs general manager Mike Hazen determined that the cost of adding a starter that he felt was better than their current five was simply too high, so over the past couple of days, he focused on the bullpen.
"I think going back to questions we've talked about all summer of the balancing of the short- and long-term as well, I think you saw a lot of controllable starting pitchers get moved today for pretty significant returns," Hazen said. "And we didn't feel like that was something that was going to work for us right now."

This is the second time Ziegler has been acquired by the D-backs in a non-waiver Trade Deadline deal. He came over from the A's in 2011 and compiled a 1.74 ERA in 23 games down the stretch to help the D-backs capture the NL West title.
Ziegler, 38, spent six seasons with the D-backs in his first go-round, pitching to a 21-11 record and a 2.49 ERA with 62 saves. He was dealt to the Red Sox in July 2016, and he signed a two-year free-agent deal with the Marlins before the 2017 season.
It was a rough start to 2018 for Ziegler, who had a 7.88 ERA at the beginning of June, but over his past 28 outings, he posted a 0.64 ERA, holding opponents to a .157 batting average and a .493 OPS.

To make room for Ziegler on the 40-man roster, Arizona transferred right-hander (right elbow inflammation) to the 60-day disabled list. The team designated lefty for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man and 25-man rosters for Ziegler.
The deal for Diekman was made in the final hour, and while it will take Ziegler a day to travel to Arizona, Diekman simply moved his stuff from the visitor's clubhouse at Chase Field over to the home side courtesy of the bullpen cart.
"When I talked to Jake I was like it's going to be a little bit of a weird day today and he said, 'Can I take the bullpen cart over?' and I said, 'You can do whatever you want,'" Hazen said. "It's probably a little bit of a strange day for all involved -- especially if he pitches tonight, then it will get even more bizarre. Makes it easier on the logistics."

Diekman, a 31-year-old southpaw, has recorded a 1-1 record and 3.69 ERA in 47 appearances for the Rangers this season and has maintained a tremendous strikeout rate in line with his career numbers (11.1 K/9). Diekman is set to enter free agency in the offseason and is making $2.71 million this year. The seven-year MLB veteran was sidelined for much of 2017 after undergoing surgery to remove his colon.
"My apartment in Texas has been packed up for about two weeks now just in case," Diekman said of hearing his name in trade rumors. "Play tonight, fly home tomorrow, pick up my pregnant wife and fly back."

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said he had yet to decide exactly how he would use his two new bullpen pieces.
Both Diekman and Ziegler are free agents at season's end. The D-backs will pay Ziegler roughly $3.5 million over the next two months.
In exchange for Ziegler, the D-backs parted with Double-A reliever Tommy Eveld, and for Diekman, they gave up another Double-A reliever in Wei-Chieh Huang, who was ranked No. 22 among the Top 30 prospects in the organization per MLB Pipeline.