Jon Heyman reports that the Rangers and reliever Jake Diekman have avoided arbitration in the lefty’s first year of eligibility, agreeing on a one-year, $1.255 million contract for the 2016 season. Diekman had filed for $1.55 million while the Rangers countered at $975,000. As some amount of math will show, Diekman settled for slightly under the midpoint between the two submitted figures.
The Rangers acquired Diekman along with ace starter Cole Hamels from the Phillies in a blockbuster trade at the non-waiver trade deadline last season for five minor leaguers and starter Matt Harrison. The 29-year-old finished with an aggregate 4.01 ERA, 69 strikeouts, and 31 walks across 58 1/3 innings. He struggled with the Phillies and turned things around with the Rangers, however. In Texas, he posted a 2.08 ERA with 20 strikeouts and seven walks in 21 2/3 innings.
Diekman features a blazing fastball, clocking in at 96.5 MPH on average, tied with former teammate Ken Giles as the 11th-fastest average fastball last season. He’ll figure to be an important piece in the Rangers’ bullpen for the next few seasons.