General Manager Mike Rizzo is stockpiling the minor leagues with veterans again, something he was forced to do in 2019 when the Washington Nationals couldn’t patch together an effective bullpen until late in the season.
The latest addition is utility infielder Derek Dietrich, who opted out of a minor league contract earlier in the week with the New York Yankees.
In just over a week, the Nationals have acquired Alcides Escobar in a trade with the Kansas City Royals, signed reliever Nick Goody to a minor league deal, and now brought in Dietrich.
Throughout the season players come and go from baseball organizations. The fact the Nationals have been signing players isn’t abnormal. The fact that a lot of these names will most likely appear in the Majors at some point this year, might be.
A rash of injuries has left the Nationals running up the bill on the courier system between DC and Rochester, where the Triple-A affiliate is. Pitchers Andres Machado and Kyle Lobstein have made brief appearances. Humberto Arteaga made a cameo, before being shuttled back to the Minors. Justin Miller was here and is now gone. Same with Jonathon Lucroy. The Nats are a revolving door for veteran players looking for work. And Derek Dietrich is the next man up.
The Washington Nationals have signed veteran infielder Derek Dietrich to a minor league contract.
You remember Dietrich from his time with the Miami Marlins. Seems like he always had a big hit to do the Nationals in. His 10 home runs against the Nats are the most he’s hit against any team. Dietrich is a career .245 hitter, but that is not the reason he is in the system now. He can play multiple positions in the infield and outfield, and has a lot of experience.
That’s the reason Arteaga lasted just one game, and lost his spot to Escobar on the roster. Experience. This move is solely a depth move, bringing in someone with a little more time under their belt to the organization. My guess is unless Dietrich gets hot at Triple-A (he hit just .215 with the Yankees Triple-A team), he won’t appear with the big team. Barring more injuries of course.
Adding depth is good. Adding veteran depth is better. And if this season turns out the way 2019 did, I’ll be all the more happier.