Trade Tactics is a weekly series covering 2018 trade candidates on the Miami Marlins and their potential destinations. We cover each player by completing a breakdown of the player skills and his strengths and weaknesses. We also identify potential trade sites and reasonable trades that could be completed with those teams.
Painful as it sometimes is to lose recognizable players, our hope is that you enjoy this upcoming time period and the moves that allow this franchise evolve into a world championship contender. Please include your comments and potential trade ideas as its great to hear from the fans as well.
Exhibit A: Derek Dietrich
Derek Dietrich is a 6-year veteran of the Miami Marlins. He is a Mr. Everything for the team as he plays all over the field recording time in the organization at every position except pitcher, catcher and shortstop. This has made him an extremely valuable asset in the this MLB era of versatile lineups and personnel. What makes him even more valuable is the way he combines the ability to hit a with competent fielding.
Dietrich doesn’t have any standout traits (other than racking up hit by pitches), but as they say, “the sum of the parts” are highly productive for a role player. He has demonstrated time and time again that he is a positive player by accumulating 6.5 fWAR throughout his career.
Current/Future Tool Grades
Derek is extremely reliable. He battles every single at-bat. He’s a positive in the clubhouse, setting an example for young and old players with his all-out style of play and training. He provides this team with a strong power threat in its current state.
Despite having mostly pull side power, Dietrich can hit the ball with authority to the opposite field yet he is more likely to show doubles power then a home run when hitting this way. Derek incorporates an open stance with nice balance. He also crowds the plate and this allows him to get coverage and pull outside pitches over the fence for power. He has a solid uppercut in his swing so his natural launch angle has always allowed him to hit balls out.
In the field, he is consistent and makes most of the plays that he gets to. He is particularly effective in the outfield on the corners as he does a good job of helping himself by taking strong angles to the ball. It is clear when observing his physique that he is well conditioned, and I believe this has been the difference maker in maximizing his tools.
Derek can be stiff and lack agility when tracking the ball. This lack of agility also shows up with his limited range and inconsistent footwork in the infield, particularly at second base.
From a hitting perspective, his stance can also work to his detriment because he pulls off the ball on away pitches and this can lead to weak contact to the opposite field. This is shown in the spray chart below with the number of fly balls to left field.
He has just adequate arm strength and his tight upper body can at times limit his ability to let loose on throws. He makes up for it with good positioning and sound fundamentals...most of the time.
Potential Trade Destinations: Yankees
The Yankees would be an ideal fit. They have a need for an experienced yet youthful bench bat that can play multiple positions. Neil Walker is batting .196, which pales in comparison to Dietrich’s .302/.354/.496 line. Also, his modest $2.9 million salary this season is convenient for a team that’s committed to spending below the luxury tax threshold.
Although the Yankees own one of MLB’s best records overall, they have fallen into an offensive rut lately, scoring fewer runs (89) than the Marlins have (91) in the month of June.
The Trade: Derek Dietrich RHP Cody Carroll and SS/2B Abiatal Avelino
Carroll is the headliner, considered by MLB Pipeline to be the 15th-ranked prospect in the Yankees system. Working almost exclusively as a reliever in the pros, he has a 2.74 career earned run average and legitimate closer potential. The 23-year-old Avelino gives us a definite big leaguer who is reliable with the glove and contact skills with the bat (think Adeiny with a better hit tool). Both of them have spent time at Triple-A this season, but there aren’t clear openings for them to progress to New York’s major league roster.
This is a small price to pay for a reliable, versatile veteran that can be a difference-maker down the stretch and—most importantly—in the postseason.
Potential Trade Destinations: Red Sox
Any target the Yankees have should be a consideration for their AL East rival as well. The Red Sox would view Dietrich primarily as an infielder to solidify their lineup in place of the injured Dustin Pedroia and underperforming Eduardo Núñez.
The Trade: Derek Dietrich for 1B Josh Ockimey
Ockimey is a bat-first guy who has a strong approach at the plate and will more likely settle into the .250-.280 range than contend for any batting titles. He is young (age-22 season) and has room to continue to grow. Power and bat prowess are the name of the game with him and the Marlins organization is low on supply in these areas.
The Red Sox’s 11th-ranked prospect would be a great haul for Dietrich and a win-win situation. The buying team improves their championship odds for 2018 and beyond, and the Fish get an exciting piece who could be ready for the Show by September.
We hope you enjoyed the first installment of the Trade Tactics series here at Fish Stripes. Stay tuned next week when we cover the trade prospects for Kyle Barraclough in a market, where bullpen help is in demand.