Isan Diaz opted out of the 2020 season at the start of August, but will now be rejoining the Marlins for the stretch run. Craig Mish of SportsGrid reports that both the league and the players union have each agreed to let Diaz return. News broke yesterday that Diaz was exploring reinstatement, and Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill told reporters that Diaz was already at the team’s alternate training complex in Jupiter, Florida.
Diaz played in two games for Miami at the start of the season before deciding to step away, saying “This has been a decision that I have discussed with my family, and I feel it’s the best one for me and my overall well-being” in a statement released on Instagram. Diaz will surely soon reveal the reasons behind his change of heart, though on the surface, it is completely understandable why he would have chosen to not play (given that the Marlins were embroiled in a team-wide coronavirus outbreak in late July/early August) and why he would be eager to come back, given that the club’s health situation seems to be back on track.
Diaz will naturally need some time to ramp up before he is ready to return to action, though his presence was likely a factor in Miami’s decision to trade Jonathan Villar to the Blue Jays yesterday. While the former top prospect hasn’t shown much (.560 career OPS) over 210 Major League plate appearances, Diaz will provide added second base depth and a left-handed platoon partner for Jon Berti, who is slated to handle second base with Villar gone. Utilityman Berti has a .244/.341/.308 slash line over 91 PA this season.
A second-round pick for the Diamondbacks in the 2014 draft, Diaz was part of the prospect package acquired from the Brewers in January 2018 in exchange for Christian Yelich. Diaz crushed Triple-A pitching in 2019, hitting .305/.395/.578 slash line and 26 homers in 435 PA before being called up to the majors.