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Should I Stay or Should I Go: Jake Diekman

I went all-in on the 2022 trade deadline, and all I got was this lousy reliever

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at Chicago White Sox
Another meltdown by the trade deadline cornerstone.
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

fWAR: -0.6 (-0.1 post-trade)
bWAR: -0.3 (-0.6 post-trade)
WARP: 0.8 (0.3 post-trade)

He should stay He’s left-handed and owed $4.5 million. Yeah, that’s all I got.

He should go Diekman will be 36 years old next season, his stuff is declining, and he can’t keep the ball in the strike zone. He absolutely stunk in high-leverage situations, and wasn’t very good in low leverage, either. Doesn’t dominate lefties in a way that makes him useful for platoon situations.

The verdict If there’s any indication of how little faith the front office had in the team to reverse their fortunes at the trade deadline, behold, Jake Diekman. The sole deadline “acquisition,” he was a sunk cost even before the trade per FanGraphs and B-Ref valuations, making the trade even more mind-boggling given the added money commitment ($3.5 million salary for 2023, $1 million buyout in 2024).

Diekman can still generate his fair share of strikeouts, but he just can’t keep the ball in the zone often enough. With Aaron Bummer back and presumably healthy (which, on this team, is pretty subjective), and assuming the return of Garrett Crochet to the bullpen (please do not try to convert him into a starter), the team might be better off just cutting bait and eating the money, because they’ll probably need the roster spot more than they’ll need to carry a third lefty. Anderson Severino, Bennett Sousa, Tanner Banks and various other players shuffling around Charlotte can probably do as good or better a job backing up the elite lefties. I’d say try to trade him, but would prefer not to encourage Hahn to find an even worse mess to get himself into.