Jeff Passan reports that lefty Jake Diekman has signed a two-year deal with his last team, the Oakland Athletics. There is a club option for a third season. He’ll get a guaranteed $7.5 million which, presumably, is for the two years plus the buyout on that option.
Diekman was dealt to Oakland from the Royals at the deadline last season. At the time of the deal he had posted a 4.75 ERA in 48 games. He posted a 4.43 in 28 games after the deal. On the year he struck out 12.2 batter per nine innings, though he tends to walk a lot of guys. Though a lefty who doesn’t often pitch a full inning, he actually faces more righties than lefties and is not that much worse against them, so calling him a lefty specialist is somewhat misleading.
The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a multi-year deal. That’s the report from C. Trent Rosecrans and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Jon Morosi of MLB.com was the first to report the Reds as frontrunners. The deal is pending a physical. UPDATE: The deal is four years. Financial terms have yet to be reported.
With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.
Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.
Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.