Diaz’s DFA largely closes the book on the blockbuster trade that sent Christian Yelich from Miami to Milwaukee. Diaz was one of four prospects received by the Marlins, joining outfielders Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison and righty Jordan Yamamoto in the deal. Brinson, the most highly regarded of the bunch, was designated for assignment in November, became a free agent and inked a minor league deal with the Astros after the lockout. Miami designated Harrison for assignment just last week. Yamamoto was traded to the Mets for now-21-year-old infielder Federico Polanco last offseason. Polanco hit .236/.301/.324 in A-ball this past season.
A highly touted prospect himself at the time of that blockbuster Yelich trade, Diaz has received plenty of chances with the Fish but has simply yet to produce at the big league level. He’s logged time in each of the past three seasons, topping 200 plate appearances in both 2019 and 2021, but the 25-year-old has only a .185/.275/.287 batting line to show for his time at the MLB level. Diaz has played both second base (735 innings) and third base (278 inning) with the Marlins but has registered sub-par defensive marks at both positions.
For all his struggles in the big leagues, Diaz does have a solid 10.6% walk rate, albeit against a more concerning 27.8% strikeout rate. He’s also been consistently productive in the upper minors, evidenced by a career .272/.359/.514 with 34 home runs, 33 doubles and seven triples in 706 Triple-A plate appearances. Diaz has a minor league option year remaining, so perhaps a rebuilding club with some infield opportunities might consider taking a low-risk look. The Marlins will have a week to trade Diaz or place him on outright waivers, at which point any team would be able to claim him (based on reverse order of last year’s overall MLB standings).