On February 20th, word spread that Aledmys Diaz was close to signing an MLB deal and that the Cardinals were in the mix for the Cuban infielders service.
I'm not going to pretend that I know the first thing about Cuban prospects. I hear the word 'Cuban prospect' and 'Cardinals' and visions of Yoenis Cespedes and Jose Fernandez start dancing in my head. Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch didn't do much to tamp down my excitement, saying he has the "actions of a young Derek Jeter".
Yes. I'll take that. Please.
Today Diaz signed with the Cardinals. So, guys… the Cards went out and added 'The Captain 2.0'? Can we put Mr. Mozeliak in a kissing booth down in Jupiter or something? WHOOOO HOOO!
I immediately regretted going right to the Google to learn more about Mr. Aledmys. Turns out we might just have to take a more wait and see approach before we invest 30 hard earned bucks on a sherzy.
From Viva El Birdos: He is probably most parallel as a hitter to Juan Carlos Linares in the Red Sox Chain who has impressed in the Boston minors, but has never been able to take the final step.
From MLB Trade Rumors: Diaz should hit well for average, but with below average power. He reportedly isn't a strong defensive shortstop, but he could be better at second base.
From RotoWorld: He figures to start the year in the minors before eventually becoming a bench bat.
I didn't have the stomach to try and parse out if RotoWorld meant bench bat in 2014 or forever. I needed to catch my breath. After all, if the Yankees, Giants, Dodgers, Blue Jays and Braves were going after this kid (in various earnestness) and his contract will (most likely) be over 20 million dollars total value, exactly how are we supposed to feel?
UPDATE (MON AM): Looks like the terms of the deal are 4 years for 8M (via Derrick Goold). That's well below the expected 15-20M and either was great negotiation from the Cardinals or he wasn't as hot a commodity as expected…
At this point, we have to give the Cardinals talent evaluators the benefit of the doubt and defer to their judgment. Invoking the name Derek Jeter was probably a bit unfair to Diaz, but such is the sporting life in 2014.
Congratulations to the Cardinals on beating out every other suitor to grab their guy. Let's hope it was for the best.