While David Robertson and Seranthony Dominguez are on the mend, the Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly still considering options to improve their pitching staff through external means, in addition to signing LHP Drew Smyly.
The Phillies are reportedly interested in a reunion with Kansas City Royals southpaw reliever Jake Diekman, as they scouted them during the Royals' last homestand, as well as at Progressive Field on Friday, according to MLB.com's Jeffrey Flanagan.
Entering Friday's action, Diekman had gone 0-6 with a 4.89 ERA this season, but he did record 57 strikeouts over 38 2/3 innings and 45 appearances. The southpaw went 9-11 with a 3.84 ERA in 191 appearances with the Phillies from 2012 to 2015.
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.
The Royals recently dealt RHP Homer Bailey and catcher Martin Maldonado, and continue to explore options to trade more players with expiring contracts, according to Flanagan, who named Diekman and outfielder Billy Hamilton "at the top" of such list.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals are other teams that reportedly have interest in Diekman, who told MLB.com that he does not "even think about the trade deadline."
"That’s for other people way smarter than me to handle. I’ve been traded too many times to give it too much thought," he said. “For some reason, I actually worried about it last year at this time. I don’t know why. But now I just don’t even care about it ... Mentally it’s just more healthy not to worry about it. Otherwise, you can get really consumed by all the rumors."
The Phillies were the first to trade the 32-year-old, along with Cole Hamels, in the multi-player return from the Texas Rangers on July 31, 2015. The Phillies "checked in" on Diekman last July, howeverhe ultimately was dealt to the Arizona Diamondbacks; they may finally get him, only a year later.
The eight-year veteran will make a total of $2.25 million this season; he has a $5.75 million mutual option for 2020, along with a $500,000 buyout.