Change for the Toronto Blue Jays this off-season starts with Aledmys Diaz, an acquisition that ushered out the glove-first Ryan Goins by providing at least a part of, if not the entire answer to the club’s needs for an up-the-middle infielder who can make an impact at the plate. The 27-year-old Cuban is certainly an intriguing play by general manager Ross Atkins, especially if he can regain the form from his 3.5-WAR rookie campaign in 2016, when he hit 17 homers and posted an .879 OPS in 460 plate appearances while earning an all-star nod. But Diaz regressed this past season, posting a .682 OPS in 79 games with the St. Louis Cardinals around 46 games with triple-A Memphis. In combination with defensive inconsistencies at shortstop and the development of Paul DeJong, he became expendable, allowing the Blue Jays to acquire him Friday for outfield prospect J.B. Woodman, a second-round pick in 2016 who posted a .699 OPS at low-A Lansing. For the Blue Jays, Diaz offers more palatable extended-term protection behind shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and second baseman Devon Travis, both coming off injuries and facing durability questions. During Diaz’s time in Memphis, he sought work at other positions to develop his defence around the diamond, playing nine games at third and six at second, where he was said to look comfortable.
Ryan Goins out, Aledmys Diaz in as Blue Jays fortify middle infield
Sportsnet | Dec 2