With Garrett Cleavinger‘s knee injury now expected to be season-ending, the Tampa Bay Rays look to be close to adding another arm to try and shore up a bullpen that has seen plenty of different arrangements.
Jeff Passan of ESPN is reporting that the Rays are in negotiations with now former Chicago White Sox left-hander Jake Diekman on a deal that would bring the reliever to the American League East leaders.
Left-hander Jake Diekman and the Tampa Bay Rays are finalizing a major league deal, sources tell ESPN. Diekman, 36, was DFA’d by the Chicago White Sox and would replace Garrett Cleavinger — who hurt his right ACL on Sunday — in the Rays’ bullpen. Should be done in next 48 hours.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 9, 2023
Diekman, who is 0-1 with a 7.93 earned run average this year, was designated for assignment by the White Sox last week. He has allowed 14 runs, ten earned on 11 hits in 11 1/3 innings. The 36-year-old signed to a two-year contract in 2022 with the Boston Red Sox that would pay him $3.5 million this year and has a $4 million option for 2024 with a $1 million buyout.
Chicago requested unconditional release waivers on the left-hander last week, and gave him his release on Saturday, so Tampa Bay would only be responsible for the pro-rated portion of the major league minimum this year.