Wednesday, September 27, 2023

White Sox Trade Reese McGuire To Red Sox For Reliever Jake Diekman


The Chicago White Sox acquired left-handed reliever Jake Diekman from the Boston Red Sox on Monday night in return for backup catcher Reese McGuire. The trade provides the White Sox with the much-needed left-handed reliever they were looking to acquire before Tuesday’s trade deadline. Monday’s trade also frees up the backup catcher position for Chicago, as the team has been carrying three catchers on the roster since the All-Star break.

Diekman comes over from Boston, where he has appeared in 44 games this season, recording a 5-1 record and an ERA of 4.23. The 11-year veteran has pitched for six teams, with his best season coming in 2020 with the Oakland A’s as he posted a 0.42 ERA in 21 appearances. Diekman’s best attribute is his fastball, as he has consistently reached the upper 90s.

The trade helps solidify Chicago’s bullpen as the team has lacked an even balance of right-handed and left-handed relievers. Reliever Tanner Banks is the White Sox’s only left-handed reliever currently on the active roster, while Banks and Bennett Sousa have been the two left-handed bullpen pitchers used throughout the year. Reliever Aaron Bummer has been sidelined since early June with an injury and isn’t expected back until September.

The goal of trading for Diekman, other than to provide more balance to the bullpen, is to bring a level of consistency to a White Sox bullpen that has been up and down throughout the season. Several of Chicago’s relievers have spent time on the injured list this season, including Reynaldo Lopez, Joe Kelly, and Liam Hendricks. Set-up man Kendall Graveman struggled in last Wednesday’s loss against the Colorado Rockies as he blew a potential save by allowing two runs in the bottom of the ninth, leading to Colorado’s 5-4 victory.

McGuire heading to Boston signals that catcher Seby Zavala will serve as Chicago’s backup catcher behind Yasmani Grandal for the remainder of the season. Zavala has played 30 games this season and is batting .296 while driving in 16 RBIs. Although the White Sox traded for McGuire at the beginning of the season for his defensive capabilities, he has been an offensive liability struggling at the plate, only batting .225 while recording 10 RBIs through 53 games.

Monday night’s trade solves two issues for the White Sox as they now have addressed a significant bullpen need and finalized the backup catcher’s role for the remainder of the season. Before Tuesday’s trade deadline at 6 PM ET, Chicago still needs to add a left-handed bat and another outfielder. Hahn’s main goal leading up to this season’s trade deadline has been acquiring a left-handed reliever, with Diekman fitting that role.

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