The St. Louis Cardinals shipped the versatile infielder Aledmys Diaz to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for a minor league prospect. The Blue Jays brain trust have begun the off-season duties of building the 2018 roster. The Redbirds receive outfield prospect, J.B. Woodman in the deal.
Diaz, an All-Star in 2016, suffered a bit of the “sophomore jinx” in 2017. His production with the bat fell off considerably. In his debut season, Diaz slashed .300 / .369 / .510 with 17 home runs and 65 runs batted in, in just over 400 at bats. He would lose his job to the talented rookie shortstop, Paul DeJong last season. In 2017, he slashed,
The Cuban shortstop made himself a more valuable asset with the glove by working as not only a second baseman, but also in left field. This adaptability in the field will help to make him an asset to Toronto, even if his offensive production continues to sputter.
Organizations are placing a much higher value on versatility in this era. The Blue Jays front office is no exception. They do not currently have an everyday starting position at one spot. However, with an injury prone double-play combination, Toronto may still enable Aledmys to fulfill his wish of playing everyday. Both Devon Travis and Troy Tulowitzki have dealt with injuries over the past couple seasons. The organization now has the insurance policy for those players with this transaction. Diaz could enjoy significant time playing middle infield, as well as the occasional outfield assignment.
John Bryant Woodman, or J.B. is a 22-year-old prospect, and a former second-round draft pick in 2016. Although the production numbers of the outfielder from Lansing do not jump out at you, keep in mind that the Midwest League is a pitcher-friendly one. Many deep drives are caught for outs in the spacious ballparks throughout. The Cardinals may have a bit of work to develop him properly, but Woodman is already well on his way in that department.
Photo: Aledmys Diaz #36 of the St. Louis Cardinals scores a run against the Cincinnati Reds in the fourth inning at Busch Stadium on September 29, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)