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Cuban SS Diaz Catches Eye of Phillies

According to Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News, the Phillies are among the teams in the running for Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz. According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Diaz worked out for over 20 scouts in Arizona last fall and has begun to field offers. Strauss says Diaz is a Major League-ready shortstop that will come at a high price, one comparable to that of Alexander Guerrero, a Cuban infielder that recently signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers for four years and $28 million. The Cardinals had an exclusive workout with Diaz today and worked him primarily at shortstop but Diaz has reportedly played both second base and third base. Strauss believes Diaz could sign as early as this week.

Analysis: This one may get very interesting. Strauss lists a handful of teams that could be potential suitors, including the usual big-money teams like the Yankees, Dodgers, and Phillies, but also the Braves, Giants, Jays, and Mariners. Of those teams, the Yankees and Phillies do not have a solution at shortstop beyond this season and the Dodgers may be in the same boat should negotiations with Hanley Ramirez on an extension stall. The Braves seemingly have their shortstop of the future and talent around the diamond while the Giants, Jays, and Mariners have holes but may not have the payroll flexibility to sign Diaz. If I was a betting man, I would put my early money on the Yankees, especially with this report out and the comparisons to Derek Jeter, unless Diaz believes he should be playing in the Major Leagues this year. In that case, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him end up with the Giants, Jays, or Mariners.

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