Royals Deal Diekman to Oakland For a Pair of Minor Leaguers


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (July 27, 2019) — The Kansas City Royals made a flurry of roster moves prior to tonight’s game with Cleveland, trading left-handed reliever Jake Diekman to the Oakland A’s in exchange for outfielder Dairon Blanco and right-handed pitcher Ismael Aquino. Kansas City also recalled right-handed pitcher Kyle Zimmer and first baseman Ryan O’Hearn from Omaha (AAA) and designated first baseman Lucas Duda for assignment.

Diekman, signed as a free agent just prior to Spring Training, made 48 relief appearances for the Royals, going 0-6 with a 4.75 ERA. He has been particularly sharp in his last six outings, allowing just one run in 5 1/3 innings, while fanning 10 and walking only one.

Blanco, 26, has spent this season with Midland (AA) hitting .276 in 78 games with 13 doubles, 12 triples, seven home runs and 27 stolen bases. A native of Florida, Cuba, this is his second year of pro ball in the United States, hitting .291 in 82 games for Stockton (Advanced-A) last season.

Aquino, 20, has been pitching this summer for Oakland’s team in the Arizona Rookie League, posting a 1-1 record and 4.58 ERA in 10 appearances (1 start). A native of Santo Domingo, DR, Aquino has struck out 103 hitters in 98 1/3 career minor league innings.

Zimmer, 27, made his first Opening Day roster this year, but made only three appearances going 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA before being optioned to Omaha (AAA). With the Storm Chasers, he has gone 2-3 with a save and 4.38 ERA in 34 appearances (12 starts as the opener). He has not allowed a run in all but one of his last eight appearances, with his most recent outing a 3-inning scoreless stint on Tuesday at Round Rock.

O’Hearn, who celebrated his 26th birthday yesterday, made KC’s Opening Day roster, hitting .188 in 56 games with six home runs and 18 RBI. He has batted .295 in 35 games for the Storm Chasers with nine home runs and 28 RBIs.

Duda, who was with KC for the first four months of the 2018 season, returned to the Royals as a free agent at the end of spring training and hit .171 with four home runs and 15 RBIs in 39 games.

Kansas City’s Reserve List is now at 35 players.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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