Dietrich has started spring training hitting .300/.348/.700 in 22 plate appearances, and he hit a home run against lefty Yusei Kikuchi on Thursday night. On Friday he got hit by a pitch -- which is also a feature for him, as he was hit by 21 pitches last season -- and later came around to score. Dietrich has a good chance of making the team as a utility player despite getting a minor-league deal to sign with the Reds. His problem is that the starters on the Reds are pretty locked in, and while there's a battle in the outfield for playing time, there are five players ahead of him there.
Dietrich went 1-for-2 with a home run and four RBI on Sunday against Milwaukee. Dietrich opened up the scoring with a three-run homer in the first inning off Josh Tomlin. Dietrich would then drive in his fourth run of the afternoon in the fourth frame on a sacrifice fly to center. The 29-year-old has now plated seven runs to go along with four hits in 13 at-bats this spring, so he's already making a strong case as to why he should be part of the Opening Day roster.
Dietrich went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI in Wednesday's spring training romp over the White Sox. Dietrich showed off a little of his versatility in the game, starting at second base. If Nick Senzel makes the Opening Day roster, it's going to be tight for Dietrich to also make the team, especially if the Reds stick to their stated intention of carrying 13 pitchers. That intention might waiver early, though the Reds have just one off-day immediately after Opening Day, followed by games on eight consecutive days.
Dietrich signed a minor-league contract with the Reds on Monday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports. The deal includes an invitation to major-league spring training and will pay Dietrich $2 million should he earn a big-league roster spot. His bat is at least worthy of a bench role, as he hit .265/.330/.421 last year, good for a 109 wRC+, a number which exactly matches his career mark. He's limited to the corners defensively, where his bat is less interesting, but he'll have a good shot to earn at least a handful of starts.
Dietrich elected to become a free agent Monday. Dietrich will hit the open market after being designated for assignment by the Marlins last week and subsequently passing through waivers unclaimed. The 29-year-old utility man hit .265/.330/.421 with 16 homers across 149 games in 2018. Dietrich should draw some interest this offseason given his prior major-league experience coupled with his ability to play multiple positions.