Derek Dietrich vows to work his way up to a permanent position with the Cincinnati Reds, while Brock Holt holds out for a guaranteed job.
As players start to report to spring training unsigned players start to scramble for open jobs. Derek Dietrich didn’t let his pride get in the way as he signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds were rumored to be interested in Brock Holt, though Holt was looking for a major league contract.
Dietrich was left on the open market until late February last year as well before signing a minor league pact with the Reds, and proved to be a great addition for the team early on. Through June 1, Dietrich was hitting .270 with an OPS over 1.000. His overall numbers dipped as he finished the year in an 8-87 swoon.
Dietrich can play multiple positions on the infield and slide into the outfield as needed. By signing a minor league deal this year Dietrich will have to get hot in spring or wait for an injury to break camp with the club. The Reds added Freddy Galvis late last season, signed Mike Moustakas this offseason, and are expecting a Kyle Farmer to contribute as a utility infielder as well.
Where Dietrich is willing to start in the minor leagues if he has to, Brock Holt is not ready to take anything less than a guaranteed major league contract. The Reds showed interest in Holt early in the free agent signing period, though the two could not agree on a deal. The Blue Jays and Mets have also showed various levels of interest as have the Red Sox, whom Holt previously played for.
After hitting .297 last year and playing six different defensive positions, one would think teams would have space on the roster for this super-sub. Limited power and average speed are knocks against Holt as is a reluctance to take a minor league contract. He remains one of two players on the Top 50 free agents of 2019 to remain unsigned, joining Yasiel Puig.
Where the two utility players have similar skill sets, Derek Dietrich hits for more power but is less versatile in the field. He’ll be in the Cincinnati Reds camp though when the sun comes up tomorrow. Brock Holt will not and one wonders if he will lower his asking price, and settle for a non-guaranteed contract as well.