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Diekman isn't sweating potential Deadline move

@FlannyMLB
July 19, 2019

CLEVELAND -- The Trade Deadline is less than two weeks away, and the Royals, who already have dealt right-hander Homer Bailey and catcher Martin Maldonado, are still looking to move more players with expiring contracts before July 31. At the top of the list are left-hander Jake Diekman and outfielder

CLEVELAND -- The Trade Deadline is less than two weeks away, and the Royals, who already have dealt right-hander Homer Bailey and catcher Martin Maldonado, are still looking to move more players with expiring contracts before July 31.

At the top of the list are left-hander Jake Diekman and outfielder Billy Hamilton.

Diekman perhaps is the most intriguing trade asset for the Royals, and he is drawing the most interest. The Dodgers and Nationals are known to be interested, and the Phillies scouted the Royals during the last homestand and had a scout on hand at Progressive Field on Friday.

Diekman, though, said he isn’t paying much attention.

“I don’t even think about the Trade Deadline,” Diekman told MLB.com. “That’s for other people way smarter than me to handle. I’ve been traded too many times to give it too much thought.”

Diekman has been dealt twice right up against the July 31 Deadline. The first came in 2015, when the Phillies traded him along with Cole Hamels to the Rangers.

Then last July 31, the Rangers dealt him to the D-backs.

“For some reason, I actually worried about it last year at this time,” Diekman said. “I don’t know why. But now I just don’t even care about it.”

Diekman, though, would be happy to stay with the Royals.

“I really like it here,” he said. “I really do.”

So far, Diekman has spoken to his agent only once about his situation. And he hasn’t spoken to his wife about the possibility of being dealt at all.

“She knows,” Diekman said. “She’s been traded twice, too.

“Mentally it’s just more healthy not to worry about it. Otherwise, you can get really consumed by all the rumors.”

But Diekman, an eight-year veteran, knew the score back when he signed a one-year deal in the offseason.

“You know you could be a rental,” he said.

And that club-friendly contract -- he is owed less than half of his $2.75 million deal -- and his power fastball (97-98 mph) and wipeout slider make him attractive to suitors. His ERA entering Friday is high (4.89), but he had 57 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings. Any contender will covet that strikeout ability, especially from a left-hander.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB.