Ever since the news broke that New York Yankees captain and shortstop Derek Jeter was going to retire from Major League Baseball following the 2014 season, everyone has wondered who could take over as the team's shortstop in 2015.
Names like Hanley Ramirez, Jimmy Rollins, Troy Tulowitzki among others have been discussed as trade or free agent options, but none are guarantees to be made. The Yankees also have Brendan Ryan on the team, but he's more suited to be a backup and defensive replacement as opposed to being an everyday starter. This is why the Yankees are looking into the international market.
Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has reported that the Yankees are one of seven teams who are scouting and are interested in Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz.
"The Cardinals prefer to say little about their chances of signing Diaz. This is the first time they’ve attempted to sculpt a deal of this magnitude with a player so seldom seen in competition. The San Francisco Giants, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies and Seattle Mariners — teams far more comfortable in this arena — also are engaged in talks"
As Strauss said, it's the Yankees competing with the Cardinals, Giants, Blue Jays, Braves, Phillies and Marienrs for Diaz's services, although that Cardinals have spent on a shortstop when they signed Jhonny Peralta this past winter, as have the Braves when they re-signed Andrelton Simmons to a contract extension this week, plus the Blue Jays have Jose Reyes locked up for a few more years unless they traded him, which might not be easy unless it's to a contender willing to take on his contract.
Those teams having other options in front of them could prove to be pivotal for the Yankees because they don't have a true successor for Jeter in 2015 and with their willingness to spend on the international market, like they did for Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees could be willing to shell out the kind of cash necessary to land Diaz, who is only 23-years-old and to some, is seen with Jeter-like tendencies on the field.
Thus far though, Diaz has had workouts for the Cardinals and Blue Jays, but no official offers have yet to been made by Diaz. However, Diaz has informed his agent Jamie Torres, that he wants to move quickly to get a deal done within the next two or three days, so if that's the ase, the Yankees may need to intensify their interest and work on a deal if they are serious about Diaz.
Diaz was expected to work out in front of the Yankees brass and coaches today and if they like what they see, the offer from the team could come very soon if he wants to sign before the season starts.
Stay tuned to Yankees 101 for any further updates regarding Diaz and where he signs this spring.
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