Toronto Blue Jays take a gamble on Aledmys Diaz

MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 10: Aledmys Diaz
MILWAUKEE, WI - JULY 10: Aledmys Diaz /

The Toronto Blue Jays acquired 2016 All-Star Aledmys Diaz on Friday to boost the depth in their infield, but was it a smart move?

As the wheels of the MLB offseason continue to turn, the Toronto Blue Jays have a lot to think about. After a disastrous 2017 campaign, president Mark Shapiro, general manager Ross Atkins and company have major work ahead of them, to return the team to postseason contention.

This includes strengthening the depth on the roster, which led to Friday’s events. As reported by ESPN, the Blue Jays acquired Aledmys Diaz from the St. Louis Cardinals.

The move is understandable, given the durability issues surrounding Devon Travis and Troy Tulowitzki. Diaz is a versatile player, who can cover at Travis’ and Tulowitzki’s respective positions of second base and shortstop.

However, there are some concerns over the trade, which saw minor league outfielder J.B. Woodman headed in the opposite direction. After an extremely impressive rookie campaign, Diaz regressed last season.

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The 27-year-old had a batting average of .300 during the 2016 season, which produced 17 home runs and 41 RBI. However, his batting average dipped to .259 this year, resulting in just seven homers and 20 RBI.

In addition, Diaz’s defensive play slumped significantly, as he lost his place in the lineup and only appeared in 79 games. Unthinkable the year before, he was effectively finished in St. Louis.

Despite the Cuban native’s regression this past season, you can understand why the Toronto Blue Jays are taking a chance on him. As poor as his play might have been, this is still the same player who just the year before, played well enough to earn an invite to the All-Star Game.

Certainly, Atkins believes the acquisition of Diaz was a good move. As reported by Sportsnet‘s Shi Davidi, the GM said:

"“We’re excited about his versatility, some of his major-league success and reason to believe there’s some bounce back. Glad to add him to the organization and hopefully he’s a piece to the solution.”"

Despite the positivity emanating from the Blue Jays’ organisation, it will be interesting to see what kind of contract they offer Diaz. The 2017 campaign represented the final season of the four-year deal he signed with the Cardinals in March 2014.

How much confidence the Toronto Blue Jays have in Diaz remains to be seen, but his arrival did coincide with the decision to non-tender Ryan Goins. The Jays have essentially put offence ahead of defence, at least in this case.

Of course, we can expect a multitude of other moves between now and the start of spring training. As Atkins admitted to Davidi: “…we’ve got a lot of work remaining.”

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What’s your take? Do you think the Blue Jays were right to trade for Diaz or would you have decided against it, and why? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.