The Chicago Cubs sign Derek Dietrich. Late Wednesday night the Cubs signed the second baseman after he was recently granted a release from the Cincinnati Reds after exercising his opt-out clause. He broke the news himself on his Instagram account. “Excited to be a part of this historical organization!!” He wrote. “Go Cubs Go!”
The 31-year old slugger recently missed time with the Reds because he tested positive for the coronavirus. Last season, he struggled at the plate with a slash line of .187/.328/.462. Although, he did hit a career-high 19 homers. Dietrich may be able to fit a role on the current roster, but what would it look like?
His Potential Role in Chicago
Dietrich is known for showing power in his swing. With the league now having a universal DH, that could be Dietrich’s role for the Cubs — if he ends up on the MLB roster. Dietrich will be sent to South Bend, as he returns to action after recovering from the virus.
Cubs sign Derek Dietrich. He'll report to South Bend. Extra bat for the season, if needed. https://t.co/UjZzEJ6YPC
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) July 24, 2020
There is no guarantee that he will even suit up for the ‘Northsiders’ in 2020, but it is a smart move nonetheless. The Cubs added Dietrich on a minor-league deal and he could offer some quality at-bats, if necessary. Dietrich also is listed as a second baseman, but he often plays in the outfield. Even if he doesn’t see the field every day, the team can plug him in when needed.
Much like the Steven Souza Jr. signing, it is a low-risk move. Both players have high upsides but have struggled recently. Souza Jr. is coming off a serious leg injury, and Dietrich just had one of the worst years (production-wise) of his career. Chicago is giving both players a chance to perform at a high level in this shortened season.
After seeing the adjusted playoff format for 2020, the Cubs should certainly be in contention for a playoff spot. This move adds more depth to overcome any unforeseen injuries or to limit the workloads for any key position players. The schedule will be demanding and the more people ready to step up and fill roles on the squad, the better.
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