Royals

Royals add another arm to bullpen, signing lefty Jake Diekman to one-year deal

Royals manager Ned Yost want players to start slow, get their feet under them

Royals manager Ned Yost spoke to reporters prior to the first official spring training workout for pitchers and catchers in Surprise, Arizona, on Feb. 13, 2019. He stressed there's nothing for players to prove on the first day.
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Royals manager Ned Yost spoke to reporters prior to the first official spring training workout for pitchers and catchers in Surprise, Arizona, on Feb. 13, 2019. He stressed there's nothing for players to prove on the first day.

The Royals signed left-handed reliever Jake Diekman on Wednesday to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2020 worth a guaranteed $2.75 million.

Diekman, 32, will make $2.25 million in base salary this season and could earn performance bonuses for games and games finished, a source told The Star. The Royals can buy out his option year for $500,000.

He finished last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks after being traded from the Texas Rangers. Diekman has a career 3.75 ERA with 383 strikeouts in 312 innings pitched across 365 relief appearances. He appeared in 47 games for the Rangers and was 1-1 with a 3.69 ERA, 48 strikeouts and 23 walks in 39 innings. After being traded, his ERA plunged to 7.53 as he gave up 18 hits and eight walks in 14 1/3 innings, striking out 18.

From Wymore, Neb., Diekman started his major-league career with the Phillies in 2012. He was drafted by Philadelphia in the 30th round in 2007 out of Cloud County (Kan.) Community College.

The Royals have continued to make additions to a bullpen that ranked last in the American League in 2018. Last week they added former All-Star closer Brad Boxberger as a free-agent signing. The team has also discussed the possibility of using starter Ian Kennedy to a relief role.

In order to make room for Diekman on the roster, the Royals placed right-handed pitcher Jesse Hahn on the 60-day injured list. Hahn is working his way back from Tommy John surgery.

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Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. A native of the Northeast, he’s covered high school, collegiate and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call and The Salt Lake Tribune. He’s won awards for sports features and sports columns.

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