St. Louis Cardinals: Cardinals trade Aledmys Diaz to Blue Jays

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 26: Aledmys Diaz
ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 26: Aledmys Diaz /

The St. Louis Cardinals traded Aledmys Diaz to the Toronto Blue Jays for OF  prospect, J.B. Woodman last Friday.

The St. Louis Cardinals traded infielder Aledmys Diaz to the Toronto Blue Jays in a surprising trade last Friday. In return, the Cardinals received OF prospect J.B. Woodman. While many were not expecting the Cardinals and Blue Jays to exchange pleasantries until the Stanton Sweepstakes were over, the move is somewhat perplexing to say the least.

It was just two seasons ago, Diaz took over the short stop position by storm. En route to an All-Star campaign in 2016, Diaz looked to be the short-term answer to the Cardinals’ short stop problems. He finished the 2016 campaign with a .300 batting average, seventeen home runs, and sixty-five RBI in 111 games.

However, his 2017 did not go so well. After starting the season off well, Diaz’s hitting took a sharp turn south. He was unable to hit for the same average and power as expected. He would eventually lose the starting short stop position to Paul DeJong. Diaz also wound up in triple-A Memphis to work on his swing.

His 2017 season ended with a .259 batting average, with seven home runs, and twenty RBI in seventy-nine games.

As I said earlier, what has me confused about this deal is the reasoning behind trading Diaz. The return, at best, is projected as an average outfielder with a high ceiling if he can put it together, but I still have a couple of questions I’d like to ask.

Who is DeJong’s back-up?

This might be the most important question to answer following this trade. After seeing Diaz’s rise and fall through the 2016 and 2017 seasons, what is to say it won’t happen to DeJong as well? The only person who could adequately serve as the Cardinals back up at short stop is Jedd Gyorko. Gyorko’s primary position is SS, but spent a majority of the season as the St. Louis Cardinals’ everyday third baseman.

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Gyorko is penciled in to continue serving as the third baseman for the team, but outside of that who, who else can the Cardinals rely on?

I guess you can throw Greg Garcia‘s name in the ring, but I don’t think for a second Garcia is better or would provide more value than Diaz.

Diaz is more capable hitter than Garcia and is more of a long-term answer than Garcia should DeJong or Gyorko go down.

The fact that the Cardinals traded Diaz for essentially nothing tells me the team did not think highly of him any more, which brings me to my next question.

Was the trade about salary, in hopes to take on a bigger contract?

Over the weekend, reports suggested the St. Louis Cardinals rebuffed their Giancarlo Stanton deal with the Marlins in order to take on more money. While Diaz’s salary would be peanuts next to Stanton’s, any extra money off the books would allow the team to revise any deals on the table.

I’m not suggesting this is what the Cardinals are thinking, but as I’ve said, something just doesn’t add up to me.

I think what has most people confused is just the return for a player who only two seasons ago was an All-Star. Had we found out the trade was for a top prospect, then it’s a no-brainer. However, the return suggests the Cardinals did not see anything else in him at this point. They decided it would be better to move the salary for someone else than have multiple infielders on the 40-man roster.

Speaking about the 40-man roster, the trade also frees up a spot for someone else to take. Could it be Stanton? Or could it be another big bat or pitcher set to join the team in the upcoming weeks?

Next: MOCK GM meetings come to a close

Are you as perplexed with the trade as I am? Let me know in the comments below.