After opting out of his contract with the Cincinnati Reds, Derek Dietrich could be an interesting option for the Oakland A’s.
Over the years, Derek Dietrich has emerged as a solid utility player. The seven year veteran has seen extensive time at first, second, third, and left over his career, a versatile piece that teams like to have. Add in his solid pop, and Dietrich has typically been a valuable player.
However, he has not been able to find a major league job over the past two years. He has had to settle for a minor league deal, agreeing to terms with the Reds both times. However, unlike last year, Dietrich will not be a part of the Reds going forward, having exercised his opt-out clause.
Dietrich, for the month of May, appeared to be the second coming of Babe Ruth. In his 80 plate appearances that month, he produced a .304/.400/.841 batting line with 12 homers. However, from June on, Dietrich produced a mere .117/.294/.227 batting line with two homers in 161 plate appearances.
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Enter the A’s. Oakland has a pattern of targeting formerly productive players coming off of a bad season, much like Dietrich. He had been an above average bat prior to 2019, and his aggregate totals from last year led to an OPS+ of exactly 100, but that league average mark was the result of that one month.
But Dietrich can still be a useful piece. He has that defensive flexibility the A’s love, playing both corner infield spots, left, and second. His ability to play second is particularly notable given the unsettled nature of the position. Dietrich does have more pop in the bat than either Tony Kemp or Franklin Barreto, as well as a track record of prior success.
Chances are, Dietrich could be had on another minor league deal. He would not cost much and would provide solid depth in the event that the A’s anticipated platoon at second does not work out. And, over the course of a short season, it is possible that the A’s catch lightning in a bottle and get something close to what Dietrich provided the Reds in May last year.
If the Oakland A’s are still looking for roster depth for their 60 man pool, Derek Dietrich could be an answer. He checks off several of the boxes of what the A’s target.