With the 2018 MLB trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Miami Marlins have identified themselves as clear-cut sellers. Contending teams are calling them about relievers Brad Ziegler, Kyle Barraclough, Drew Steckenrider and Adam Conley, according to multiple reports including MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. Catcher J.T. Realmuto, obviously, has the ability to impact a pennant race, though it’s doubtful that the Marlins will move him this summer.
An additional player who could potentially fetch a quality return in a deadline deal is utility man Derek Dietrich.
”Deets” has enjoyed a breakout season for the Fish as he’s comfortably on pace to achieve career highs in numerous offensive categories. Turning 29 years old next week, the veteran has a statistical slash line of .286/.349/.450 for a .799 OPS (318 AB). Moreover, Deets has totaled 11 home runs, 17 doubles, 1 triple and 32 runs batted in. Despite a relatively aggressive style (only 18 BB), he gets on base consistently as a literal ball magnet, recording an absurd 14 hit by pitches barely halfway through the season. It’s a notable improvement from the previous season when Don Mattingly used him less regularly.
The position change Mattingly made—from infielder to left fielder—has been somewhat of an adventure for Deets. In 76 games at his new primary position, he’s posted a sensational fielding percentage of .991, committing only 1 error on the year. On top of that, he has 4 outfield assists and even logged a double play.
However, Dietrich doesn’t consistently take efficient routes for fly balls or get the correct reads.
He also seems uncomfortable making plays near the outfield fence.
Dietrich’s production has reportedly drawn interest from the Milwaukee Brewers, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred. Considering these teams recently did business with one another (Christian Yelich blockbuster trade), perhaps another significant trade is possible. But for the time being, he seems to be a backup plan in their search for a bat:
The Los Angeles #Dodgers, Milwaukee #Brewers and New York #Yankees have separated themselves from the pack of teams who have inquired about #Orioles All-Star shortstop Manny Machado, with no clear-cut favorite at the moment.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 12, 2018
From a Marlins’ perspective, the ideal return for Dietrich would consist of two top-20 prospects from a team’s farm system. Mike Hill still has a couple weeks left to negotiate.