The Toronto Blue Jays made a splash on Friday evening by acquiring former All-Star shortstop Aledmys Diaz from the St. Lous Cardinals. In the process, they parted away with minor league outfielder J.B. Woodman who they drafted in the second round of the 2016 draft.
Diaz, 27, broke onto the scene in 2016 with an explosive offensive season. He earned an All-Star selection in his rookie season and would go on to earn fifth place in the National League Rookie of the Year voting after he slashed .300/.369/.510.
In 2017. he saw his numbers decline on both sides of the ball as he was eventually demoted to the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate. With the emergence of Paul DeJong, Diaz saw his playing time fall even when he was on the major league squad. This made him an expendable piece for the Cardinals.
Woodman was the Blue Jays second round pick in 2016 out of Ole Miss. In 96 games for the Blue Jays’ Single-A affiliate, Woodman slashed .240/.320/.378 with 31 extra-base hits. His strikeout numbers were quite alarming as he had 157 of them in only 362 at-bats.
Diaz will be a solid insurance piece for the Toronto middle infield who saw numerous injuries to Troy Tulowitzki and Devon Travis in the past season. Toronto’s homer friendly ballpark should fit his style of play well, and the Blue Jays will be banking on Diaz finding his stroke from the 2016 season.
Woodman will likely not have much of an impact in the organization and was likely acquired as organizational depth. With potential Giancarlo Stanton rumors in the air, the Cardinals may be on the verge of shipping off some of their minor league talent, so Woodman could fill a void on one of their minor league affiliates.