Utility player Derek Dietrich announced Thursday on Instagram that he has signed with the Cubs, C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic relays. It’s a minor league contract for Dietrich, who will head to their alternate training site in South Bend, Ind., per Jordan Bastian of MLB.com. Dietrich had been a free agent since he opted out of a minors deal with the division-rival Reds on Monday.
The 31-year-old Dietrich will bring a track record of respectable offense and defensive versatility to the Chicago organization. The former Marlin and Red has been an above-average hitter throughout his career, having slashed .246/.334/.427 (108 wRC+) with 79 home runs in 2,438 plate appearances. He also has 100-plus games of experience at second, third and in left field, though he has never been a high-grade defender in the majors.
The Cubs will enter the season with former NL MVP Kris Bryant at third and likely 2019 success story Ian Happ in left, but second base may not be as certain. Offseason minor league signing Jason Kipnis, whose offensive production has dropped off in the past few years, is seemingly in line to start there. David Bote and Nico Hoerner also look to be in the mix, while Daniel Descalso will begin the year on the 45-day injured list.