The Cincinnati Reds have signed utility infielder Derek Dietrich to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training. First reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
#Reds in agreement with free-agent infielder Derek Dietrich on a minor-league contract, pending a physical. Deal includes invitation to major-league spring training and will be worth $2M+ on the major-league side.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 18, 2019
Dietrich (29) is a left-handed batter. He can play anywhere in the infield except for shortstop. He played quite a bit of LF for the Marlins. So he has a lot of utility. The Reds have salary space to take on Dietrich’s $2 million major league contract if he makes the team.
Dietrich has a more than solid bat. He hit .265/.330/.421 for the Marlins last year.
What really catches the eye is his road split (away from mammoth Marlins Park) of .290/.363/.496 and a wRC+ of 133. For comparison, Joey Votto’s wRC+ was 131 last year, Eugenio Suarez was 135 and Scooter Gennett was 125.
Dietrich isn’t a plus defender at any position.
First impression, this is an outstanding signing by the Reds. Dietrich has a great chance of making the team. At a minimum, he’s insurance for Alex Blandino who is recovering from injury. Dietrich would be a great veteran bat on the bench. His availability gives the Reds huge lee-way to make another deal.