Derek Dietrich has long been considered one of those pesky hitters that the Washington Nationals have faced throughout the years. However, he’s now available on the open market after the Miami Marlins non-tendered him instead of offering arbitration this offseason.
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Dietrich has hit a solid .254 in his career, as well as a .757 OPS in his six-year career in the major leagues. He’s also hit 10 homers and driven in 25 runs in only 72 games against the Nationals, so they could do with him on their side for once.
You may have noticed a theme developing throughout the list, but we looked for more versatile players. Dietrich is no different, having played first, second and third base along with both corner outfield spots for the Marlins in his career.
He also provides another solid left-handed bat in the lineup and would essentially make a perfect platoon option with Howie Kendrick. If they could secure Dietrich on a two-year deal, it could also allow them to play things safe at the big league level with their top prospects.
While there are no contract projections for Dietrich, last year he earned $2.9 million with the Marlins, so he can probably be expected to earn something a little bit more than that in free agency. What’s not clear is whether he will want a multi-year deal, which could potentially play into the Nats’ hands if the annual average is right.
The Washington Nationals long-term outlook at second base is much better than the short-term outlook. They would be wise to consider all of the options mentioned in this article in order to get an immediate upgrade at arguably their weakest offensive position.