Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that 21-year-old second baseman Andy Ibanez has defected from Cuba with the intention of signing with an MLB team.
Ibanez was the youngest player on Cuba’s World Baseball Classic roster last year and Badler rates him as the No. 8 prospect still in Cuba. However, he’s unlikely to get a huge contract because as a 21-year-old with only three seasons of experience in Cuba he’s subject to the international spending limits that Cuban veterans are able to avoid.
Badler speculates that he’d likely begin his American career at Double-A and projects as a solid regular rather than a potential star.
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.