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 MLB.com. 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.