Jake Diekman felt like a throw-in during last summer’s Cole Hamels trade, but now enters Spring Training as one of the main reasons the Rangers’ bullpen might be one of the best in the American League.
Diekman avoided arbitration on Friday night, agreeing to a $1.2 million contract to keep him in his role as a nasty, late-inning lefty out of manager Jeff Banister’s bullpen.
Diekman, who earned $535,000 last season, had asked for $1.5 in arbitration while the Rangers had initially countered with $975,000.
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When the Rangers traded for a proven ace in Hamels from the Phillies, they also Diekman. And he proved worth the pick-up. He went 0-0 in 26 appearances, but with a measly 2.08 ERA.
With Diekman and sinker-baller Sam Dyson getting through the 7th and 8th innings before handing the ball to reliable closer Shawn Tolleson, the Rangers shouldn’t be blowing a lot of late leads next season.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.