The Pirates DFA First Baseman Lewin Diaz

The Pittsburgh Pirates officially signed first baseman Carlos Santana on Tuesday afternoon. They didn’t announce a move to open up a 40-man roster spot until Wednesday afternoon. To make room on the roster for Santana, first baseman Lewin Diaz has been designated for assignment.

The 26-year-old Diaz was claimed from the Miami Marlins eight days ago. He’s a 6’4″, 217 pound lefty hitter. He has played parts of three seasons in the majors with little success at the plate, while displaying above average defense. His 2021 season was worth 0.8 WAR, giving him a total of 0.1 WAR over the 2020-22 seasons, but his offense has been below replacement level all three seasons. He has put up positive dWAR numbers in all three seasons, leading to that overall positive WAR number.

Diaz has shown solid contact rates coming up through the minors, helping him to an .829 OPS over 156 games in Triple-A during the 2021-22 seasons. That Triple-A success at the plate has yet to translate to the majors. In a total of 112 big league games, Diaz has a .181/.227/.340 slash line, with a 28.9% strikeout rate and 13 homers. He had a .169 average and a .512 OPS during the 2022 season.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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john_fluharty

I doubt anyone claims him. I don’t think there’s anyone as desperate for a first baseman as the Pirates.

Y2JGQ2

Quite possible- There is nothing lost if he is, but being able to stash a very solid defensive replacement for “when” we have injuries at first base is a hell of a lot better than playing Diego Castillo out there

jaygray007

welp, on the bright side, someone who takes Diaz is one less team who can hold on to Malcom Nunez i guess?

PirateRican21

1st thought I had!

jaygray007

A situation where the team ends up with Lewin off of the 40 man, and Malcom plundered, isnt the *worst* outcome ever.

It’d be nice to keep both!

it’d be nice to run 4 deep at 1b instead of 0 deep, like last yr.

Last edited 2 months ago by jaygray007
emjayinTN

Interesting how there was no room on the 40 for Nunez who did very well at AA and AAA as a 21 year old in 2022. But, a few weeks later we can jetison somebody off the 40 to accommodate Lewin Diaz, already 26 and somebody nobody wants.

We refuse to spend the money it takes to maneuver around 40 man issues – instead we house 20+ pitchers on the 40 so we can just run them back and forth between Pittsburgh and Indy as needed.

Y2JGQ2

Hard to argue with anything you just said- but i’d rather hear what a better solution is.

Catch_22

Inside Lewin Diaz

Anthony

Great movie!! That popped into my head too when the claimed him 🤣

Catch_22

The scene with Llewyn, Timberlake and Adam Driver rehearsing, and Driver is making the odd noises is hilarious.

Very under the radar Coen Bro film, with just the right amount of weird.

Catch_22

Ah, someone got the reference!

TNBucs

Makes sense. This should be as good a time as any to pass a guy through waivers and if it works, then we add depth and if it doesn’t work, then we haven’t really lost anything that we had going into the offseason.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Really beginning to believe they’re just trolling the fan base at this point. MAYBE they were working on something else that fell through, or couldn’t come to fruition yet, and Lewin Diaz was the next option? I’d like to see if there’s something untapped with Diaz, but they had to wait ~24 hrs to announce this move?

Catch_22

Tim was right. They picked up Diaz for insurance. Plain and simple, they got Santana making Diaz superfluous.

Probably a good chance he clears and will battle playing time with the other 8 1b/DH types in Indy.

Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)

Definitely. I believed that as well, and as it is more often than not reading too far in to it, just weird they had to wait a whole day to announce it.

robertkasperski

People in charge of DFAs at the league office still out on Thanksgiving extended holiday??

leefieux

Oh nooooooooooooooo. You knew his days were numbered once Santana got signed. Good luck Mr Diaz, wherever you end up,

Jeff

Yep, he had no options left. Would not have made 26 man roster with Santana/Choi.

leefieux

Yep.

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