The White Sox have made their first move of the 2022 Trade Deadline, and it is in exchange for some relief help.
According to multiple reports, the Chicago White Sox acquired left-handed reliever Jake Diekman on Monday evening in exchange for catcher Reese McGuire. General Manager Rick Hahn and company addressed one of the glaring needs this team has in the form of the 6’4″, 195-pound southpaw.
While many might brush off this move, the White Sox have taken advantage of an opportunity to move an asset in Reese McGuire, who was out of options, and turn him into something of value. This is very similar to what the White Sox did when acquiring McGuire in the first place: taking advantage of a situation where a team planning to DFA a player instead trades him away for something of value in return.
Diekman is on the first year of a two-year, $8M deal with a 2024 club option. After two strong seasons in which he posted a 2.96 ERA in 82 innings with the Athletics, Diekman has struggled in Boston this season. His 4.23 ERA is the highest since 2019, and while the strikeout rate hasn’t decreased much (31.7% in 2021 vs. 29.8% in 2022), he has struggled a lot more with walks this season.
Diekman has become more of a power pitcher in recent seasons, featuring a 95 mph fastball that routinely gets up to 97 and 98 mph. He also features a power sinker, changeup, and heavy slider – all pitches that feature excellent horizontal movement.
The rationale for this is clear for the White Sox: with Aaron Bummer out until September and Tanner Banks rather ineffective, the team was in the need for a back-end relief pitcher who throws from the left side. He has done a good job getting both left-handers (.229 AVG) and right-handers (.212 AVG) out in his career
The White Sox are likely not done making moves, but the Trade Deadline comes in less than 24 hours.
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