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The LA Dodgers are Reportedly Interested in Royals Reliever Jake Diekman

The Dodgers continue to look at all possible ways to upgrade their bullpen.

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JULY 15: Relief pitcher Jake Diekman #40 of the Kansas City Royals throws during the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium on July 15, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

The Dodgers are among the teams showing interest in acquiring 32-year-old left-hander Jake Diekman from the Kansas City Royals, according to Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com.

A left-hander for the bullpen is the Dodgers’ biggest need heading into the July 31 trade deadline and Diekman is a total Andrew Friedman target.

Diekman has been having a solid season for a lackluster Royals team. He has pitched to a 3.09 DRA, 3.71 FIP, and 3.98 xFIP in 38 innings. He has done that by striking out 32 percent of hitters faced and limiting how often opponents hit the ball hard off him.

As the chart below shows, he is the 91st percentile of K%, hard-hit percentage and expected batting average. He is also in the 93rd percentile of expected slugging percentage, the 75th percentile of average exit velocity allowed, and the 63rd percentile of expected weighted on-base average.

To put all of those stats in simpler terms, he is much better than his 4.97 ERA shows.

His biggest struggle this season, and in his career, has been his trouble with walks. His walk rate this season is at 13.4%. and his career mark is at 12.4%. Even with the walks problem, he has had a strong career, so he has shown he can still be effective despite them. Over 350 innings, he has a 3.38 ERA, 3.35 FIP, and 3.59 xFIP.

Diekman primarily relies on a slider, which he uses 49% of the time and a hard fastball that averages 96 MPH, which he uses 43% of the time.

He is making $2.75 million this season and has a mutual option for $5.75 million in 2020 with a $500,000 buyout.

His cost shouldn’t be as high as the elite relievers who might be available and he would still be a big upgrade in the bullpen. They’re also likely to acquire at least two relievers so a trade for Diekman wouldn’t take them out of the market for a top bullpen arm.

If I had to guess, I think there is a very high chance the Dodgers acquire Diekman in the next two weeks.

Written by Blake Williams

I graduated with an Associate's Degree in Journalism from Los Angeles Pierce College and now I'm working towards my Bachelor's at Cal State University, Northridge. I'm currently the managing editor for the Roundup News and a writer for Dodgers Nation. Around the age of 12, I fell in love with baseball and in high school, I realized my best path to working in baseball was as a writer, so that's the path I followed. I also like to bring an analytics viewpoint to my work and I'm always willing to help someone understand them since so many people have done the same for me. Thanks for reading!

12 Comments

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  1. If this is true, then the Dodgers cheap out again. They refuse to go all in to win the World Series. Friedman and Roberts should be fired. I am really sick of the Dodgers signing over the hill pitchers. If they do not get a supreme reliever, then you can kiss another season goodbye.

    • I agree with AZUL on the above post. This is getting silly already, and does not even deserve comment. At present, I would not trust KJ in a high leverage situation. He is not the dominating pitcher he once was. I would trust Urias more than KJ at this stage!!! Management has a responsibility to its fans to provide the best team; and by ignoring the BP, this responsibility is being neglected. Go Blue!!!

      • BLUE LOU! That poster above you here is another Paul, but here I am along with PD JR. But correct about this BP. Roberts and Co. simply cannot continue to have Kenley as an undisputed shoulder and Roberts along with Kenley are at fault for last night’s loss.. LOU, it really comes down to this:
        No BP, no WS

        • AZUL, in my haste to post a comment last night, I failed to recognize that the poster I was responding to was NOT you. For this I am sorry!!!! And, to PD Jr., I also apologize. With that being said, I agree with your in that KJ should not be the undisputed closer. At this stage of our rather successful season, prima donnas are not needed on this close knit team. Go Blue!!!

  2. I’ve said for 5 years the Dodgers main problem is pitching and for the last 4, Freidman has absolutely refused to get any relievers or starters. The man did the exact same thing in Tampa. Built a team around a solid all star batting lineup and cheaped out on money ball pitchers and relievers. end result? A team that never won the WS under him. All Freidman has ever cared about is selling tickets. ! great starter, 2 really good relievers and we are a WS team. That simple. Right now? We can’t beat the Yankees or Astros and I said this the last 2 years too and I was dead on. Until Freidman is fired and Roberts, and Jansen is replaced, we just aren’t going to win the Title.

  3. Jansen has bad outings and he seems to be arrogant about his role. If you can’t get people out or throw with the control you cannot be an elite closer. Frankly, now that he has his head and mechanics straight I like Joe Kelly as he has incredible stuff both velocity and movement and throws I nice change of pace knuckle curve at 88 which I find funny as some guys throw 88-89 for their fastballs…
    Baez, when he isn’t tipping pitches, has been elite also. I agree that they should pick up a couple of left-handed relievers. The problem is the trade deadline. this season and the fact that many potential sellers are still close to the wild card slot. If the Pirates considered themselves out of the Wild Card it would be incredible to trade 2-3 blue-chippers and get Velasquez.
    I like the stats on Stadler he looks like a solid pickup and much better than Rosscup. Chargois may help as he has nasty stuff.

  4. Holy Cow do I get nauseous every time Baez and Jansen come in. Roberts has made blunder after blunder since his hiring. I’ll never forgive him for starting Darvish in game 7 in 2017… but I digress. Jansen, like Kershaw flounders at best in pressure situations. “I should’ve come out of the game”… what does that tell you about his confidence, or lack of? Honeycutt should’ve been fired a decade ago. Our pitchers can throw but they can’t pitch. You’d need a calculator to add up all the hits or runs against us with 0 & 2 counts. The front office has no clue either. Why would you get a reliever that the American League knows like the Astros knew Darvish?

    I’m afraid no fall classic championship this year. The Dodgers just aren’t smart. They rely on the long ball to much. If the balls weren’t juiced this year they’d probably have a record close to the d-backs. Thank you for letting me vent.
    THINK BLUE

  5. Jansen will cost us another chance at a World Series championship if he remains the sole closer..

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