After being given his release by the Yankees last weekend, outfielder Matt Diaz has already found a new home.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Marlins have added Diaz on a minor league contract. He’ll presumably have a chance to make the Opening Day roster, and who knows, he could end up batting cleanup before long.
Diaz went 6-for-30 (.200) with no extra-base hits during Grapefruit League action before being cut loose by the Bombers. Long known as a lefty masher, the 35-year-old batted just .222/.280/.333 with two home runs and a .613 OPS in 118 plate appearances with the Braves last season.
With Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna gone, the next logical step for the Marlins would be to trade away Christian Yelich. He’s be an amazingly attractive trade candidate given that he is under team control through 2022, and is owed a very reasonable $58 million or so. He just turned 26 last week and has hit .290/.369/.432 in his five year career. That’s the kind of player and contract that could bring back a mess of prospects.
Except the Marlins, it seems, don’t want to do that. Multiple reports have come out in the last hour saying that the Marlins intend to hold on to Yelich and to build around him.
That could be a negotiating ploy, of course. They’ll no doubt listen to offers and, if the right one comes along, they’d certainly give strong consideration to trading him. A good deal is a good deal.
The only question, in light of the events of the last week, is whether the Marlins would know a good deal if they saw one.