Feb 13, 2014; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak (left) talks with manager Mike Matheny (right) during spring training at Roger Dean Stadium. Image Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Aledmys Diaz was over-hyped

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.

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  • Ovadia

    While it is certainly possible that Diaz is overhyped (and the dearth of information on him doesn’t give the fans much to go on), I think it’s important to remember who has been scouting him. The Cardinals are great at this stuff. Periodically they make mistakes (Ty Wogginton), but if they like this kid, I’m all about it.

    As for the Yankees, they’ve been scouting Diaz for quite a while. Did they just now realize that Diaz isn’t what they want after months of scouting? Right. Likely story.

    It seems more likely that the team that has agreed to spend over $500 million in the coming years over the past few months may have run out of money. At the very least, budgeting may have become more important. Note the fact that Brett Gardner just received a nice extension; perhaps this was a case of “either . . . or” and the Yanks chose Gardner.

    I just don’t believe that the Yanks scouted Diaz for months before realizing that he wasn’t all he was cracked up to be. Additionally, if it wasn’t a money problem, why not offer him 4 years and 4 million and hope you get a decent utility infielder that they desperately need as the market cools on him?

    I just don’t buy the Yankees’ story, and if the Cardinals like him, then I like him.

    • Lee

      Cardinals scouts and mozeliak have been virtually blemish free on getting great deals so far.. I still don’t get why they’re still high on Garcia and not letting LHP Siegrist get a shot in the rotation?? Can someone tell me that please?

      • Ovadia

        Think it’s more a matter of being high in lots of other players than being down on Kevin. I mean, Jaime’s not a factor at this point, due to his recent arm soreness, but choosing between Joe Kelly and Baby Pedro is hard enough. The fact is that Siegrist is too valuable in the bullpen right now, much like Trevor Rosenthal.

        • Lee

          Yeah I can see his value in the bullpen, not to say he wouldn’t be just as valuable in a starters role too, especially now that Garcia may not be physically able to perform as nothing more than left handed relief for the foreseeable future. Personally I feel as if Siegrist is the best option as a starter because of his reliableness, bring in Lyons or let Garcia take on his role in the back end of games.

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