For the second straight season, the Yankees have signed veteran infielder Derek Dietrich to a minor league contract. Dietrich, who last appeared in the majors in 2020 with the Rangers, split the 2021 season between the Yankees’ and Nationals’ Triple-A affiliates.
The 32-year-old put together an odd line during his time with Scranton, slashing .215/.413/.393 as a RailRider. That on-base ability has kept Dietrich among the ranks of the professionals, with his last two major league campaigns amounting to a combined .189/.332/.462 line.
Dietrich has played every defensive position outside of shortstop and catcher. He’s primarily found himself on the infield dirt in recent years, appearing mostly at first and second base with Scranton. Dietrich will give the Yankees a left-handed infield depth option, though he’ll find several names above him on the pecking order. At Triple-A, Dietrich will slot behind the likes of Oswald Peraza, Oswaldo Cabrera, Greg Bird, and Ronald Guzmán. The Yankees of course have a number of options at the major league level at both corners and second base.
If Dietrich winds up taking plate appearances in the Bronx this summer, something will have presumably gone wrong. In any event, it doesn’t hurt to have veterans on hand in the minors in case of emergency. Dietrich can add just a bit more depth in the high minors, depth the Yankees hope will not come into play any time soon.