When the Athletics signed Hiroyuki Nakajima to a two-year, $6.5 million contract over the winter, they were hoping that he would serve as the Opening Day shortstop. However, the 31-year-old has become an afterthought in less than nine months.
Paul Gutierrez of CSNBayArea.com notes that the Athletics have outrighted Nakajima to Triple-A Sacramento, thus removing him from the 40-man roster. The thought is that the A’s will use the roster flexibility to add a catcher with John Jaso still sidelined with a concussion.
Nakajima struggled in nearly every phase of the game during spring training before coming down with a hamstring injury. While Jed Lowrie has emerged as the everyday shortstop with the big club, Nakajima has hit .282/.336/.368 with four home runs and 26 RBI in Triple-A.
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.