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Mets sign veteran Southpaw Jake Diekman to 1-year deal with club option for 2025

Jake Diekman is the latest arm to join Carlos Mendoza's bullpen.
Jake Diekman is the latest arm to join Carlos Mendoza’s bullpen.

The Mets have finally added another left-hander to the bullpen.

The club came to terms with veteran left-hander Jake Diekman on a one-year contract with a club option for 2025 on Tuesday afternoon. The Mets designated right-hander Austin Adams for assignment to clear space off the 40-man roster. They will have to make another transaction to be able to announce the signing of right-handed reliever Shintaro Fujinami.

“Jake has a proven track record and has shown the ability to get batters out from both sides of the plate,” said president of baseball operations David Stearns in a statement. “He gives our bullpen another option to provide key outs. In addition to his work on the field, he has shown an admirable commitment to impacting others away from the ballpark through his Gut It Out Foundation.”

Diekman and his wife, Amanda, created the Gut It Out Foundation to help connect those who suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases and provide them with resources. Diekman, 37, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis as a child.

A Nebraska native who was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 30th round of the 2007 draft, Diekman spent the 2023 season primarily with the Tampa Bay Rays where he posted a 2.18 ERA in 50 appearances, striking out 53 (10.5 strikeouts per nine innings).

He joins Brooks Raley as the only other left-hander in the bullpen. Raley is often saved for high-leverage situations, which left the Mets without any weapons to counter left-handed hitters in the middle innings. In 12 seasons, Diekman has held left-handed hitters to a .233 average.

Diekman’s deal is worth $4 million and Fujinami will be paid $3.5 million, which brings the Mets’ projected payroll total to over $285 million for 2024. The Mets were already well past the luxury tax threshold of $237 million and will once again pay over $300 million once the tax bill is included. The Mets paid $101 million in luxury tax penalties last season, according to the Associated Press.