Milwaukee Brewers Rumors: Derek Dietrich on Team’s Radar

DENVER, CO - JUNE 24: Derek Dietrich #32 of the Miami Marlins begins to celebrate after hitting a second inning solo homerun against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 24, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JUNE 24: Derek Dietrich #32 of the Miami Marlins begins to celebrate after hitting a second inning solo homerun against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 24, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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The Milwaukee Brewers reportedly have interest in acquiring another Miami Marlins outfielder. This time, Derek Dietrich is on their radar.

According to Jon Morosi, the Milwaukee Brewers have inquired about Marlins infielder/outfielder Derek Dietrich. He reports that a deal is not close at this time, but the two teams have talked.

This is a very interesting development as Dietrich is the first name the Brewers have been legitimately connected to this trade season. Jacob DeGrom, Manny Machado, and others have been talked about but there hasn’t been confirmed interest by the club.

GM David Stearns has obviously built up a good relationship with the Marlins front office, having spent months going back and forth with them on the Christian Yelich trade this winter. The Marlins are familiar with our system and the Brewers are familiar with theirs.

How’s Dietrich doing this year?

Dietrich is having the best season of his career. He’s hitting .303/.354/.491 with 11 homers and an OPS+ of 135. He has also added 16 doubles on the season.

Now the primary leadoff hitter for the Marlins, Dietrich is succeeding in his role after Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and Giancarlo Stanton were all traded away in the winter.

One potential concern is Dietrich’s high number of strikeouts this season. He’s punched out 71 times already this year, compared to only 98 strikeouts all of last season. But he’s slugging a lot more and his .845 OPS is the highest of his career.

Where’s the Fit?

That’s where this doesn’t make much sense. Dietrich primarily plays left field. Currently, the Milwaukee Brewers have Ryan Braun, Christian Yelich, and Eric Thames manning that spot most days. Dietrich isn’t going to push any of them for playing time. There’s already an outfield logjam as it is.

The good news for Dietrich is that he’s versatile and can play multiple positions, which is music to David Stearns’ ears. Also, Dietrich is under control for two more seasons before becoming a free agent. He’s signed for $2.9 million this year and has two more arbitration years to go.

Dietrich is one of three active MLB players with at least 100 starts at second base, third base, and left field. So he has experience in the infield as well, which was where he played when Stanton, Yelich, and Ozuna were in town.

If the Brewers were to trade for Dietrich, my guess is he would play second base primarily. Jonathan Villar is still struggling and Dietrich would be an upgrade. He’s not a great defender, but neither is Villar, so the offense is what Stearns is looking at.

What would Dietrich cost in a trade?

Certainly not as much as Christian Yelich. This is his first year breaking out and has two years of control left. So this isn’t going to be a big prospect trade. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Domingo Santana go in this deal, to be honest.

Think about it. Santana is mostly blocked from getting any more regular at bats in the big leagues, he’s under cheap control for the next three seasons, and he has a bunch of power potential. He’ll fit what the Marlins want, and Dietrich will fit what the Brewers want. That would also clear some of the outfield logjam the Brewers currently have.

While Santana’s trade value has plummeted, swapping him for Dietrich, an offensive minded utility player that can play every day, is a pretty good return for the way Santana has played this year.

Next: Rumors: Brewers aggressively targeting starting pitching

Rumor season is now getting into full swing and the Milwaukee Brewers will be in the thick of it. They are contending for the division title and reinforcements will be on the way. Keep an eye on Derek Dietrich.

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