In Rafael Furcal, the Marlins are getting a gold-glove caliber infielder to complement Adeiny Hechavarria. This may also bring more attention Hech’s way and get him a gold-glove, but that would be a digression at this point. In Furcal, the Marlins improve their offense and get a top of the order presence that they have lacked for some time. That is, if Furcal can stay healthy.
In truth thought, the Marlins are not overly-invested in Furcal. He gets a one year deal to regenerate his worth. It is low-risk, high reward. If Furcal gets injured again, they will just call up Dietrich. If Furcal stays healthy and reverts to his all-star self, then Dietrich will labor more in the minors – but it shouldn’t go beyond the trade deadline or at most, beyond this upcoming season. For the latter half of 2014 and even 2015, Dietrich is the target to take over.
The increase in competition buys time for Dietrich to refine his offensive game a bit – he clearly has plus power potential at his position and can field it pretty well, but will need to prove a more consistent hitting approach. And let’s not overlook the fact that Dietrich got into hot water with the whole Tino Martinez situation last season – he spoke about how Martinez was a little too “handsy” with players and both he and Chris Valaika got called out for it (even though both players were assured it would not be made public). Some have speculated that this was the reason why Dietrich was sent back to the minors.
All that said, giving Dietrich more seasoning at the minor league level will only help improve his game and take some pressure off being ready now for the big league club. A more comprehensive approach can be made for the parent club who can add Dietrich when he proves he is ready, and not just out of desperation.
Getting back to Furcal, the Marlins gain a valuable commodity that could be dealt at the trade deadline. Furcal has an incentive to prove himself on a one year deal – if he does, he increases his value. If not, the Marlins are done with his contract at the end of the season.
If Dietrich can prove to be the 2B of the future for the Marlins, they would have parlayed Yunel Escobar into something of serious value with Dietrich. Adding Furcal as a temporary stop-gap may actually prove to be beneficial not to just the Marlins, but also to Dietrich as well.