Reds utilityman Derek Dietrich has requested and received his release from the team, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com tweets. Dietrich, whom the Reds brought back on a minor league contract over the winter, just joined their player pool last week after a positive coronavirus test. He excercised an opt-out clause, meaning he won’t be able to re-sign with the Reds this year, C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic notes.
For the Reds and Dietrich, this ends what was briefly a very fruitful relationship. The former Marlin signed a minors pact with the Reds heading into 2019, earned a roster spot and then went into the summer as one of the game’s hottest hitters. Dietrich posted a ridiculous .304/.400/.841 line with 12 home runs in just 80 plate appearances in May, but his production cratered after that. He finished the season a .187/.328/.462 hitter with 19 homers in 341 PA, though that line was still 2 percent better than league average, according to FanGraphs’ wRC+ metric.
The 31-year-old Dietrich, to his credit, has consistently been a better-than-average offensive player since his career started in 2013. He owns a lifetime triple-slash of .246/.334/.427 (108 wRC+) with 79 HRs in 2,438 trips to the plate, though most of the lefty-swinger’s damage has come against righties. Defensively, Dietrich has garnered extensive experience at several positions (first, second, third and left). While Dietrich hasn’t graded particularly well at any of those spots, his versatility in the field and history of respectable offense should enable him to catch on elsewhere.