Texas Rangers transactions: Jake Diekman has been traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks today, in advance of the 3 p.m. MLB trade deadline (non-waiver variety) that just passed. The Texas Rangers made no other trades before that deadline, which means that Adrian Beltre, Alex Claudio, and the other players rumored to possibly be dealt are all still Rangers.
Between the departure of Diekman and last night’s Keone Kela trade, the Rangers now have two open spots on both the 40 man roster and the 25 man roster. Chris Martin is expected to be activated from the 10 day disabled list to fill one of those spots.
Robert Murray says the Rangers have acquired Wei-Chieh Huang from the D-Backs for Diekman. Huang is a 24 year old righthanded pitcher who was signed out of Taiwan for $450,000 by the D-Backs in July, 2014. He’s listed at #22 on the MLB Pipeline Diamondbacks top 30 list, and has split the 2018 season between the high-A California League and the AA Southern League, putting up a combined 2.31 ERA in 58.1 IP with 78 Ks and 23 walks. Huang had been used as a starter in 2015 and 2016 in the D-Backs system, but has been working almost exclusively in relief in the past two seasons, albeit as a multi-inning reliever. We shall have to see what sort of role the Rangers use him in.
As for Diekman, he will spend a couple of months in the desert pitching for a playoff contender before hitting the free agent market. The lesser-heralded piece of the trade that brought Cole Hamels to Texas in 2015, Diekman was outstanding down the stretch for the Rangers in 2015, was solid in 2016, and then did good work last year after returning late in the season after three surgeries that removed much of his colon. Diekman was a good pitcher, a popular player and active in the community, and he will be missed.
Best of luck to Jake in Phoenix.
UPDATE — The deal is official, with John Blake tweeting the Rangers have traded Diekman and cash to Arizona for Wei-Chieh Huang and a player to be named later. To round out the 25 man roster, the Rangers have activated Chris Martin and purchased the contract of lefthanded pitcher Jeffrey Springs.
The addition of Springs to the 25 man and 40 man roster is a bit unexpected — I had thought Brady Feigl would be the first lefty reliever to get called up. That said, Springs has had a strong season, striking out a whopping 98 batters in 56.2 IP between Frisco and Round Rock, walking 19 and allowing just two home runs. The 25 year old lefty, a 30th round pick in the 2015 draft, has a 4.13 ERA that is inflated somewhat by several meltdown outings — he has allowed 3 or more runs in 6 of his 33 appearances, has allowed 0 runs in 24 appearances, and has allowed 1 or 2 runs just three times. He’s been either very, very good or very, very bad for the most part this season.