Jeff Francis won’t opt out of minor-league deal with Reds

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As part of his minor-league contract with the Reds left-hander Jeff Francis the ability to opt out and become a free agent again if he’s not added to the 40-man roster by March 28, but that won’t be happening.

Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that his odds of securing a spot in the Reds’ rotation are slim–if anything Cincinnati already has too many starters for the five slots–but Francis laid out his plans:

I’m not going to go home. I’ll be pitching. I am not even thinking about it. I’m just trying to get people out.

Either he’s quickly fallen in love with the Reds organization or Francis’ agent has advised him that they still don’t have any big-league offers, or maybe both.

He’s pitched fairly well so far in four starts, but may have to accept a long-relief role or perhaps even prove himself with an extended stint back in the minors for the first time since 2004.

Marlins designate Derek Dietrich for assignment

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The Marlins designated utilityman Derek Dietrich for assignment, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. This comes amid a flurry of moves on Tuesday night as teams prepare their rosters ahead of the Rule 5 draft next month.

Dietrich, 29, is coming off another strong season in which he hit .265/.330/.421 with 16 home runs, 45 RBI, and 72 runs scored in 551 plate appearances. He played all over the diamond, spending most of his time in left field and at first base. Dietrich also played some second base, third base, and right field.

Dietrich is entering his third of four years of arbitration eligibility. He earned $2.9 million this past season and MLB Trade Rumors projects him to earn $4.8 million in 2019. Cutting Dietrich represents a bit more than 4 million in savings for the rebuilding and perennially small-market Marlins. Dietrich should draw some interest, so the Marlins could end up trading him rather soon.

Wonder how J.T. Realmuto, now the longest-tenured Marlin, is feeling right about now.