St. Louis Cardinals: Stay away from Cuba?


Ever since guys like Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig burst onto the scene, I have been a big proponent of the St. Louis Cardinals going after these young Cuban phenoms. I was a big fan of the Aledmys Diaz move, it was different and new for the Cardinals to go into a bit of an uproven market and make a splash. I wanted them badly to consider going after Yoan Moncada and then the Red Sox got him. 

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However, as we have progressed in the years since Cespedes’ debut in Major League Baseball, we have yet to see any of these players really transcend the game and become much more than an average player. Yes, Cespedes has had stretches and Aroldis Chapman is likely the game’s best closer. However, when we heard about these players coming in it was a lot of hyping up these future “stars”. Puig is now on the verge of being traded by the Dodgers, Cespedes is likely headed to his fifth club since coming into the league, and Aroldis Chapman may never be the starter he was billed as when he came to the league.

Look I get it, these players don’t cost draft picks and in some instances they are ready to contribute right away. However, what we are seeing teams do is mortgage the relationships they have in areas like the Dominican Republic and Venezuela to go after these high price unproven guys from a country where guys are having to risk life and limb just to get to the United States. I have been victim of they hype, after seeing Puig’s ridiculous athletic ability, I wanted that type of player on our club.

I think what we see here is a case of teams falling for the hype and falling hard. I may be hoping for Diaz to come up and be a key player in the middle infield next season, but the team’s words are showing that they are not necessarily committed to giving him a chance next year. Mozeliak has spoken many times about going after a middle infielder to spell Jhonny Peralta and Kolten Wong, and not once have I seen him mention Diaz. We also, haven’t seen this team involved in any of these high priced bids on players from Cuba. 

Bill Dewitt Jr. said it himself on the Bernie Miklasz show a couple weeks ago, they simply don’t have the confidence on their judgement of talent in that area. For good reason, the talent simply hasn’t superseded or attained the level that was expected when these players were initially brought in and advertised.

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Maybe just maybe, the Cardinals are making the right decision by largely staying out of the Cuban market?