Quantcast

cubaFinally, one of the top remaining Cuban free agents from the current wave of defectors has landed on a team. Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz, who has been in the process of signing for the better part of a year and a half (thanks to some age shenanigans last year), has agreed to a four-year, big league deal with the Cardinals. The Cubs were connected to Diaz many moons ago, but haven’t been in about a year (but see the UPDATE below).

Diaz, 23, isn’t viewed as a game-changer, but is probably going to be a very capable reserve infielder for the Cardinals, who were rumored to be heavily in on him a few weeks ago. The terms of his deal haven’t been disclosed yet, but the expectation was that he’d be getting a deal in the $20 to $30 million range. It’s unclear whether Diaz got one of those “guaranteed free agency” deals, where he hits free agency when the contract is up, regardless of service time. If not, the Cards will have him for two more years after this deal, by way of arbitration.

Given that Diaz’s four-year deal overlaps with ostensible starting shortstop Jhonny Peralta’s own four-year deal, and given that Kolten Wong is among the best second base prospects out there, it’s an interesting signing, to be sure. Either Diaz accepted that he was going to be in a utility role with whatever team he chose, or he recognizes he’ll need some time in the minors before he’s ready. If it’s the latter, perhaps he believes – and perhaps the Cardinals are signaling – that Peralta will move off of shortstop in a year or two. The Cardinals payed him serious money because he’s become a good defensive shortstop with a decent bat. At another position, he’s probably not worth his salary.

The interesting thing about the signing: Diaz seems like the kind of guy the Cardinals develop easily from within (voodoo magic), not the kind of guy they go out and drop $25 million (or however much) on. That suggests they really like Diaz, or they don’t like their near-term infield picture at the upper levels of the minors. Also notable: the Yankees were interested in Diaz, watched him work out, and decided not to make an offer. And they’ve got lots of need and lots of money. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.

With Diaz locked up, we’ll see if some of the other currently-available Cuban players sign soon, including pitchers Raicel Iglesias and Odrisamer Despaigne, and outfielder/infielder Rusney Castillo. Those three seem to make more sense for the Cubs than another infielder who’s just about big league ready.

UPDATE: Well, maybe the Cubs were involved up until the end after all:

For the Cubs, Diaz simply would have been a cash-only asset with his best years ahead of him. That’s a nice piece to have as you rebuild, but it’s less clear how they would have used him than it is for the Cardinals. Hey, maybe the Cubs simply did their part to drive up the price on the Cardinals.

  • Rebuilding

    At the very least he will prob platoon with Wong at 2b (although they also have Mark Ellis). There are still big questions about Wong’s bat though so he might end up playing more than that. Consensus seems to be that his glove isn’t good enough to play SS regularly

  • Diehardthefirst

    Wonder if Theo can beat Boston to Stanton by offering an everyday player in addition to prospects?

  • Rich H

    I actually like this signing if the Cards kept control. 25 mil over 4 years is not as much money as some UT types got this off season. But my bet says he will be in the minors for a bit and push Wong to the utility role if he can not hit in the majors (which is still very much in doubt).

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Weren’t the Marlins looking for a short stop last winter. I remember during the winter meeting there was talk of teams inquiring about Castro. Which prospects would we have to throw in to get that deal done for Stanton?

    • JadeBos

      They have Hechavarria, who is a younger Darwin Barney type at SS. Real good glove but no bat though he’s only had 1 full year.
      AND as crazy as it sounds the Marlins will never be in on CASTRO! The ballpark is in Little Havana.

  • Diehardthefirst

    If Baez proves he’s ready as he is so far then he has to play every day meaning somebody doesn’t. Put him at 3B with Emilio and Valbuena backups to him, and also starters Castro and Barney? Olt odd man out?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Baez will start the season playing shortstop in Iowa. The Cubs have some time to figure out the rest.

  • Joshua Edwards

    “The interesting thing about the signing: Diaz seems like the kind of guy the Cardinals develop easily from within (voodoo magic), not the kind of guy they go out and drop $25 million (or however much) on. That suggests they really like Diaz, or they don’t like their near-term infield picture at the upper levels of the minors. Also notable: the Yankees were interested in Diaz, watched him work out, and decided not to make an offer. And they’ve got lots of need and lots of money. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.”

    This makes me giddy. And, therefore, scares the hell out of me.

    Stupid Cardinals. Always end up coming out ahead somehow…

    *hands in pockets, kicks dirt*

  • Pingback: Lukewarm Stove: Injury Shake-Up, Samardzija, Santana, Diaz, Carpenter, Headley (UPDATE) | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Google+