Report: 'Lots of interest' in suspended Cuban SS Aledmys Diaz
Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz will be eligible to sign in mid February, and there is plenty of interest in him at the moment.
The Yankees, Blue Jays, Giants, Dodgers, Cardinals and Braves were among the teams with a "large presence" at Diaz's recent showcase events in Mexico. Passan says some teams like him more as a second baseman long-term.
According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, Diaz was suspended for presenting a false date of birth. He claimed he was born on Jan. 8, 1990, but was actually born on Aug. 1, 1990. Small difference, but it's the difference between being subject to MLB's international spending restrictions and being a true free agent eligible to sign for any amount.
Diaz hit .315/.404/.500 with 12 home runs in 270 at-bats during the 2011-12 season in Cuba, his last before defecting. He hit .308/.401/.444 from 2008-12. Reports on his defense are mixed, which is why some teams expect him to move to the other side of the bag.
The Yankees, Blue Jays, Dodgers and Braves all have an obvious need for second base help, though it's unclear if Diaz would be able to make the jump right into MLB in 2014.