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Reds bring back Dietrich on Minors deal

26-year-old infielder Trahan also receives non-roster invite to Spring Training
@m_sheldon
February 12, 2020

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Since he was sent outright off the Reds’ 40-man roster in November, utility player Derek Dietrich wasn’t expected to return to the club in 2020. Cincinnati even assigned Dietrich’s No. 22 jersey to a free-agent signing, lefty starter Wade Miley, just a month later. But on Wednesday

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Since he was sent outright off the Reds’ 40-man roster in November, utility player Derek Dietrich wasn’t expected to return to the club in 2020. Cincinnati even assigned Dietrich’s No. 22 jersey to a free-agent signing, lefty starter Wade Miley, just a month later.

But on Wednesday -- the eve of the opening of their Spring Training -- the Reds brought Dietrich back and signed him to a Minor League contract with an invite to big league camp. Also returning as a non-roster invitee is infielder Blake Trahan, which brings the camp's roster to 61 players.

Dietrich, 30, batted .187/.328/.462 with 19 home runs and 43 RBIs over 113 games in 2019, his lone season for the Reds. Despite only 67 starts, he was tied for third on the club in homers and became one of the team’s most popular players because of an electric first half and his penchant for funny moments. He was tied for second in the Majors in hit-by-pitches last season, getting tagged by opposing pitchers 25 times.

Dietrich made $2 million in 2019 after earning a spot on the team as a non-roster invite.

On May 28 vs. the Pirates, Dietrich hit three home runs with six RBIs, and he belted 18 homers before the All-Star break. He became the fourth Reds player ever to hit 10 homers in fewer than 100 plate appearances for a season and the first since Tony Perez in 1970.

A sore left shoulder over the final four months of the season derailed Dietrich's season and resulted in surgery on Sept. 27. He batted .071 with one homer in the second half.

Dietrich, who will wear No. 35 in this year’s camp, was versatile in the field and made 43 starts at second base, 13 at first base, nine in left field and two as the designated hitter. He also made a one-inning appearance at third base on April 28 at St. Louis.

Over seven big league seasons with the Marlins and Reds, Dietrich is a .246/.334/.427 hitter with 79 home runs.

Trahan, 26, was a third-round pick by the Reds in the 2015 Draft and reached the Major Leagues for the club in 2018. He played 11 games and batted .214 (3-for-14).

Primarily a shortstop who can also play second and third base, Trahan spent most of 2019 at Triple-A Louisville, where he batted .226/.279/.319 in 101 games with five homers and 29 RBIs.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook.