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.
Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.
Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.
Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.
Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.
Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.
“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”
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