A's Bolster Bullpen With Acquisition Of Jake Diekman
The Athletics, who sit a half-game out of the second wild card spot in the American League, made their second trade of the summer on Saturday when they acquired lefthander Jake Diekman from the Royals for a pair of minor leaguers.
The move continues to signal that the A’s believe that they can do a bit of damage if they make the playoffs and should continue to strengthen a bullpen whose 3.94 ERA ranks eighth in the majors and fifth in the AL.
Jake Diekman, LHP
Diekman, who has bounced around over the last couple of seasons, works primarily with a mid-90s fastball and a mid-80s slider and has been excellent at inducing grounders. His 13.61 strikeouts per nine innings ranks ninth this year among relievers with 40 or more innings pitched.
Dairon Blanco, OF
The A’s signed the speedy Blanco out of Cuba in April 2018 and let him loose in the high Class A California League, where he put up double-digits in doubles (13), triples (10) and stolen bases (22). He’s repeated the feat this year with 13 doubles, 12 triples and 27 swipes at Double-A Midland. Blanco placed No. 26 in our midseason re-rank of the A’s Top 30 Prospects list and is a top-of-the-scale runner who should fit in well with the Royals’ emphasis on speed-heavy minor leaguers.
Ismael Aquino, RHP
Aquino, who signed with the A’s in December 2016, pitched this season in the Rookie-level Arizona League and showed fastball in the 92-96 mph range. He doesn’t have an average secondary offering, but his slider will get close to that level at times. He projects as an arm-strength reliever.