CHICAGO – One of the areas on the ballclub where general manager Rick Hahn was expected to look to make an addition at Major League Baseball’s trade deadline was the bullpen, just as he did in 2021.
The first trade for the White Sox before the deadline shows that intention.
Early Monday evening, the White Sox acquired left-handed reliever Jake Diekman from the Red Sox in exchange for catcher Reese McGuire along with a player to be named later or cash consideration.
Diekman comes to Chicago after spending only this season with the Red Sox, his 11th in the MLB, pitching in 44 games out of the bullpen. In 38 1/3 innings, the left-hander has a 4.23 ERA with 50 strikeouts compared to 30 walks, a 1.49 WHIP with 12 holds and a save.
He had a strong month of May (2.45 ERA) and June (2.25 ERA) but slipped to a 6.57 ERA in 12 1/3 innings in July during 14 appearances. He allowed nine earned runs with 18 strikeouts compared to ten walks during the month.
A 30th round pick of the Phillies in the 2007 MLB Draft, Diekman pitched for that club along with Rangers, Diamondbacks, Royals, and Athletics before his stop in Boston this year. He’s appeared in the postseason four times – twice with Texas (2015, 2016) and Oakland (2019-2020), pitching in three games against the White Sox in the 2020 AL Wild Card Series.
In those contests, he failed to allow a run or a hit in 1 2/3 total innings with a strikeout and two walks.
Diekman arrives in a White Sox bullpen that’s struggled both with inconsistency at times and injury, with Aaron Bummer and Joe Kelly among those missing significant time. He’ll bolster middle inning relief with Liam Hendriks performing well in the closer role for a second-straight season, converting 20-of-23 saves.
McGuire, who was acquired in a trade before the season with the Blue Jays, finished his brief White Sox career with a slash line of .225/.261/.285 with nine doubles and ten RBI in 53 games. He served as the team’s primary backup catcher in all but one of those contests.