Although there are just 11 days remaining until the 2019 trade deadline, there still hasn’t been any significant rumors linked to the Dodgers as far as potential deals go.
There are some rumblings that team scouts are out and about—especially in the American League—but there isn’t anything concrete as far as talks go.
Front office boss Andrew Friedman typically does a fine job of keeping his talks with other clubs under wraps, but in recent years some of the trades have become publicly known before they officially happened, most specifically the Manny Machado deal with the Orioles ahead of last year’s deadline.
Regardless, we’ve been talking for weeks now about the need to add one or more quality relievers to the bullpen crew. Obviously, Felipe Vazquez has been at the center of our discussions, yet whether or not GM Neal Huntington will move the electric lefty remains to be seen.
Another favorite of mine is Detroit righty Shane Greene. We talked about the 30-year-old reliever quite a few times over the past few weeks, and he could be among the cheapest options available, at least from the standpoint of conjuring up a prospective price for what it would cost to land Vazquez.
Friedman confirmed recently that his club will definitely be active in the days leading up to the deadline; however, he did acknowledge that he does not plan on doing anything crazy as far as putting the organization at risk.
“We’re going to be aggressive. We’re just not going to be stupid,” he recently said in a radio interview.
Another possibility we haven’t spoke much about is Kansas City lefty Jake Diekman. The 32-year-old journeyman has been with three different squads over the past two seasons and began his career with the Phillies back in 2012.
Lifetime, the native of Nebraska has appeared in 410 games and has tallied a 3.88 ERA, a 3.34 FIP and a 1.394 WHIP with 440 strikeouts and 192 walks over 350-2/3 innings of work.
Last year, Diekman posted a 4.73 ERA, a 3.74 FIP and a 1.500 WHIP over 71 games between the Rangers and the Diamondbacks.
Perhaps his most effective year came in 2013 when he registered a 2.58 ERA and a 2,50 FIP over 45 games as a 26 year old with Philadelphia.
Diekman offers a fastball that has averaged above 95.0 MPH and a slider that averages around 85.0 MPH, which has also been his main weapon against left-handed hitters.
This arsenal has allowed to strike out an outstanding 11.3 batters per nine innings in his big league career. While he does also own a walk rate of 4.9 BB/9, he makes it work by keeping the ball in the yard in general with a career 0.6 HR/9.
The problem is that he has a reverse split when it comes to opposing batting average. Over his career, lefty hitters have hit .235 against him, while righties have averaged .221. It’s a small difference, but it probably doesn’t bode well for Friedman, who likely is in search for a bonafide LOOGY, specifically when noting the current situations with Scott Alexander and Caleb Ferguson.
At the end of the day, there could be worse relievers to have in the Los Angeles bullpen. Diekman would provide a slight upgrade, although it certainly wouldn’t be the boost the Dodgers desperately need. Friedman is smart—if he were to somehow land the veteran southpaw, the sacrifice wouldn’t be much at all.