Miami signing Rafael Furcal to a one-year deal to play second base means two things for top prospect Derek Dietrich. First of all, it means that the Marlins don't believe he will be ready to start the 2014 Major League season as a starter on this Marlins ball club. On the other hand, It also means that the Marlins do believe that the Dietrich may be their second baseman of the future.
Furcal is no more than a stopgap at the position, similar to Placido Polanco's role with the team last season. However, unlike Polanco, Furcal should be a much more reliable bat and unless Dietrich makes strides in the minors, he could potentially hold down the position until the trade deadline. Derek Dietrich needs to prove to the Marlins that he is ready to handle Major League pitching before they decide to pencil him in the starting lineup everyday. Until Dietrich can prove that he can hit in Triple-A, Furcal should hold down the position in the majors.
Even though this move could be seen as a shot at Dietrich, his 2014 season should go perfectly for him, if he can improve on his game in Triple-A. The worst case scenario for Dietrich would be one where Furcal turns into his old All-Star self, and even then, if Dietrich hits in Triple-A, the Marlins could still give him at bat's in the majors at third base. Dietrich probably won't spend his entire season with New Orleans because Furcal is old and he'll probably get hurt. Not to mention, the Marlins front office is probably dying for Dietrich to step up and take Furcal's starting role from him. Derek Dietrich's bright future with the Marlins is hardly affected by the Rafael Furcal signing and by starting Dietrich in Triple-A to start the 2014 season, the Miami Marlins are making the best choice for Dietrich and his personal development as a player.