Reds news: Derek Dietrich exercises opt-out clause and granted release

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 18: Derek Dietrich #35 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 18: Derek Dietrich #35 of the Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Derek Dietrich will not be back with the Reds in 2020.

Derek Dietrich was released by the Cincinnati Reds on Monday. Now, before you go crazy, understand that Dietrich asked for and was granted his release. The left-handed slugger exercised an opt-out clause in his contract and will not be able to re-sign with Cincinnati this season.

Dietrich signed a minor-league deal with the club during spring training and was just recently added to the Reds 60-man player pool last Wednesday. Dietrich tested positive  for the coronavirus, which was the primary reason for his absence from the initial player pool.

Dietrich was a non-roster invitee last season and made a name for himself with the long ball. Dietz “let it fly” during the early-part of the 2019 season with 17 home runs through the first two months of the season and a 1.073 OPS.

Unfortunately, Derek Dietrich fell off a cliff over last several months of the season. From June 1st through the end of the season, Dietrich was just 15-for-128 (.117) with two home runs, seven RBIs and .520 OPS.

Many Reds fans will remember Dietrich’s debut on Opening Day last season. With the game knotted a two runs a piece and runners on second and third, Dietrich stepped in to pinch hit for left-handed reliever Zach Duke. Dietz sent a 2-1 pitch into the right-center field seats, putting the Reds on top 5-2. Cincinnati would go on to win the game by a score of 5-3.

Dietrich was a fun-loving player who attracted many fans to the ballpark. It’s hard to forget him dressing up as a apiarist when Great American Ball Park was invaded by bees, or donning some construction equipment when the lights went out in Oakland.

Next. Senzel will be the Reds most improved player

The reality is, with the talent on this year’s team, Derek Dietrich was a long shot to make the Reds. Aristides Aquino was already sent to the alternate site in Mason, Ohio and that was likely Dietrich’s destination as well. We wish Dietrich all the best and hope he finds a home for the 2020 season.