Royals sign Jake Diekman to one-year, $2.25 million contract

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The Royals announced on Wednesday that the club signed lefty reliever Jake Diekman to a one-year, $2.25 million contract that includes a mutual option for the 2020 season with a $500,000 buyout. The Athletic’s Rustin Dodd provided the specifics. To make room for Diekman on the 40-man roster, the Royals transferred pitcher Jesse Hahn to the 60-day injured list.

Diekman, 32, spent last season between the Rangers and Diamondbacks. He posted a 4.73 ERA with a 66/31 K/BB ratio in 53 1/3 innings. He was much better in his 39 innings with the Rangers, as he posted a 3.69 ERA. He yielded 15 runs (12 earned) in 14 1/3 innings with the D-Backs.

Diekman will slot into the back of the Royals’ bullpen along with Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger. Manager Ned Yost said earlier today, via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan, that he’s not ready to name a closer, so Diekman could potentially enter into that competition.

Rays moving spring camp due to damage caused by hurricane

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Rays are relocating their spring base for 2023 due to extensive damage to team training facilities caused by Hurricane Ian.

The Rays have trained since 2009 in Port Charlotte, Florida, about 90 minutes south of St. Petersburg, and intend to explore several options before making a decision on where to hold spring training and play Grapefruit League games when camp opens.

The team and Charlotte County released a joint statement Thursday, saying damage to Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte can’t be repaired in time to host games this winter.

“Charlotte County supports the Rays efforts to secure alternative accommodations for 2023 spring training,” the statement said.

“We are all disappointed for the residents of Charlotte County and the fans there. The community is in the thoughts and hearts of the Rays, and the team will continue to support recovery efforts,” the statement added. “The Rays and Charlotte County intend to develop a restoration plan for Charlotte Sports Park in the coming weeks.”