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How much fire is behind the Cardinals’ Aledmys Diaz smoke?

Cuban infield prospect Aledmys Diaz is in the news after Post-Dispatch columnist Joe Strauss reported the 23-year-old performed at shortstop for St. Louis Cardinals brass in a private workout at Roger Dean Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. Strauss noted the Cardinals are expected to make an offer soon to a player they have reportedly been scouting for several years.

Eligible to sign effective today, February 19, Diaz may fetch $20-30 million despite differences of opinion as to his major league readiness. According to reports, Diaz has worked out for other clubs at both middle infield positions.

It was not surprising to me that Diaz’ agent called his client major-league ready, but interestingly, so did Strauss. If that is really true, could reserve infielder Daniel Descalso‘s job come into jeopardy? Or would the Cardinals assign Diaz to Triple-A to get his feet on the ground and see regular work?

Or, is all this a moot point?

Diaz is very much in play across the game. He and fellow Cuban right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne performed for scouts from over 20 teams in a workout at the San Diego Padres complex in Arizona on February 13, according to Jesse Sanchez of The Cardinals were reported to be one of the clubs represented.

So were the deep-pocketed New York Yankees, a club that has rarely not gotten its man when money is a factor. The Bombers seem to need immediate help at second base and a successor to retiring shortstop Derek Jeter in 2015.

After the Arizona showcase, the two free agents traveled to Florida, where Sanchez reported they would work out at four different Sunshine State venues, including Port Charlotte.

Though the Cardinals’ private Wednesday workout could be viewed as encouraging news, would they realistically be able to outbid other organizations – or even offer comparable MLB playing time if the money was close?

Diaz’ agent, Jaime Torres, told Strauss his client is prepared to move quickly, so I guess we shall see soon enough.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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15 Responses to “How much fire is behind the Cardinals’ Aledmys Diaz smoke?”

  1. crdswmn says:

    Like I said on the message board, the Cardinals are not going to outbid the Yankees on anyone.

    BTW, MLBN radio is profiling the Cardinals tonight, and will have Derek Goold on as a guest. They usually do this segment around 8 pm CT.

    • blingboy says:

      Would you mind posting a summary of anything interesting?

      • crdswmn says:

        Goold says the Cardinals are high on Lance Lynn. He says the Cards are concerned about Joe Kelly’s lack of swing and miss stuff and want him to work more on developing his sinker to produce more weak contact and less foul balls and long ABs that run up his pitch count.

        Was asked about Taveras and his role. He said Taveras will definitely be up sometime in 2014. Said Allen Craig was going to be in the lineup, regardless of what position he plays; therefore, if Taveras performs to a high enough level that they want him to start, then Craig will move to 1B and Taveras will go in RF and Adams will be the odd man out.

        As for lineups, no set lineup, but indications are that Carpenter will bat lead off, Holliday 3rd, Craig 4th and Bourjos 8th. Molina probably 5th or 6th. Other spots are up in the air, probably Wong in the bottom 3rd to start, but could move to 2nd if he hits.

        These were the things that stood out to me. Other things he talked about were Wong and his work ethic and desire to improve from last season, Cardinals are optimistic about Garcia’s health, and they are interested in A. Diaz, but they scrupulously avoid bidding wars. I was distracted for a few minutes, and I missed a little bit, so if someone else listened and wants to fill in, please do.

  2. blingboy says:

    “The Cardinals preferred that the unannounced workout remain confidential. However, Diaz’ arrival in camp wearing a Cuban national uniform was hard to miss. The session took place within 100 yards of an ESPN tour bus idling in the stadium parking lot.”

    I would bet his agent told him to show up in the Cuban Uni.

  3. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    What are the Cardinals even trying to say???????? ………… sign or not????? the appearance is that they were rushed on the JP signing……… that they would be willing to move him at a possible loss………………… that is unlikely, but they are insinuating or at least hedging on a 50+ million dollar move………. one way or another, they are disassociating from JP as long time player…..

    • blingboy says:

      It is possible BDW could end up with two shortstops worth more than he paid.

      Unless Peralta falls on his face there would be no loss. The Cards did the hard part giving him the contract after the reinstatement. The teams who do consider themselves morals police will be fine with him now. That opens up the market.

      As to Diaz, he is not expensive if he will be worth more a year from now.

      Most other teams, all maybe, finding themselves desperate for a shortstop, would end up overpaying on some long term backloaded contract, trading away the farm, or both. Bill could end up making a profit.

  4. blingboy says:

    Bernie pointed out the potential problem of the Cards having declared a competition for the starting CF job. Namely, what if Jay clearly outplays Bourjos? He says, rightly I believe, that the Cards want Bourjos to start because they think the defensive upgrade is that important. But they did not want to dis Jay, not the least reason being what if Bourjos fails or gets hurt.

    My feeling is that it need not be a problem. If Jay outplays Bourjos, let Jay be the starter. Given Jay’s extreme streakiness it will not be long before there is a reason to turn the job over to Bourjos. And when Jay is hot, he is pretty darn good, so it would work out fine all around.

  5. Brian Walton says:

    Jesse Sanchez is reporting both Diaz and Despaigne are expected to work out for the Yankees today.

  6. […] Earlier related article: “How much fire is behind the Cardinals’ Aldemys Diaz smoke?” […]

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