The basic answer of the last week was that Cuban defector Aledmys Diaz, who has the ability to play shortstop, was over-hyped. With reports from George King of the New York Post last night saying that the New York Yankees were not offering him a contract following a workout, it set the internet in a tailspin.
I think it all goes back to the comments that Diaz’ agent made in the Joe Strauss column from a few days ago in which his agent, Jaime Torres, was quoted as saying:
“We know he’s going to be in the major leagues. It’s only a matter of time. His preference is shortstop, but he’s played second and third and I’m sure would be comfortable playing whatever position is necessary.”
The big question, to me, seems to be is Diaz really major league ready? If he here actually ready, the Yankees–of all teams–would not have passed on signing him. Not with the face of the Yankees, Derek Jeter, retiring after the end of this season and opening up the position.
Joe Kehoskie, who has previously worked as a baseball agent and now serves as a consultant, told Redbird Rants:
“As for Aledmys Diaz, it’s possible that he’s made major improvements since he left Cuba, but if not, I can’t imagine the Yankees would be happy with him as their starting shortstop for long. Obviously, following Derek Jeter will be a tall and thankless task for any player, along the lines of Manny Alexander following Cal Ripken Jr., but I just don’t see Aledmys Diaz as a long-term starting shortstop for a championship-caliber club.”
From everything I’ve read, Diaz appears to be along the lines of a Daniel Descalso utility player that can backup second, short, and third. Are the Cardinals willing to pay some $20 million for a Cuban defector to do the same thing when Descalso is signed for the 2014 season at $1.29 million before becoming arb-eligible in 2015 and won’t be a free agent until the 2017 season.
Tags: St Louis Cardinals