|Photo from the KC Star|
The Oakland Athletics have acquired LHP Jake Diekman from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for OF Dairon Blanco and RHP Ismael Aquino.
The A\’s could use bullpen help, and Diekman is a decent start. Diekman has a high ERA this year, but opponents are hitting just .212 against him, including righties at a .211 average. In his career, he has held opponents to a low .226 batting average. He\’s also had a K/9 over nine every year of his career, which means he has struck out more than one batter an inning, and aside from 2013, it\’s been over 10. This year, it is at a career high 13.6, which is very encouraging. He is a free agent after the season, though. Diekman has a lot of upside, though he currently has a career high ERA. They don\’t trade any top 30 prospects.
Diekman, 32, has a 4.75 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 41.2 innings this year for the Royals. In his MLB career for the Royals, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks, Diekman has a 3.87 ERA with 446 strikeouts in 353.2 innings.
The Royals are terrible, and will be dealing a lot, and everyone but Whit Merrifield is reportedly available. They have traded two rentals already, both to the A\’s, with Diekman following starter Homer Bailey for 18th best prospect Kevin Merrell (MLB Pipeline). Like Merrell, they get speed in return, in Blanco. They also get a young pitcher in Aquino. This marks the second consecutive July where Diekman has been dealt. The Rangers sent him to Arizona last year for Wei-Chieh Huang and Joshua Javier.
Blanco, 26, has a .276 batting average with seven homers, 44 RBIs and 27 stolen bases in 334 Plate Appearances for AA Midland this year, his second minor league season since coming over from Cuba.
Aquino, 20, has a 4.58 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 17.2 innings for the Arizona League A\’s. He has a 4.03 ERA with 103 strikeouts in 98.1 innings in three minor league seasons.