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The Yankees have decided to pass on Cuban defectors Aledmys Diaz and Odrisamer Despaigne

Chung Sung-Jun

The Yankees made the claim that they will spend excessively when it comes to international amateur talent this season. Most of that talent will be eligible to sign over the summer, but in the meantime there are several Cuban defectors that could strengthen the Yankees at both the minor league and major league levels. Erisbel Arruebarruena has signed with the Dodgers, but both Aledmys Diaz and Odrisamer Despaigne are still free agents.

The Yankees held private workouts for the shortstop and right-hander just a few days ago. Around that time it was rumored that the Yankees were the favorites to sign Diaz. A decision is coming soon, but it doesn't sound like they are very interested anymore. According to George King of the New York Post, "after watching Cuban defectors Aledmys Diaz and Odrisamer Despaigne work out, the Yankees aren't going to offer the shortstop or right-handed pitcher contracts."

Maybe they were wholly unimpressed by what they showed during their workouts, but then how did the Yankees not already determine that from all the scouting they have done on them? There were some rumblings that, despite no apparent injury, they didn't like his physical abilities.

It doesn't make sense why they wouldn't just offer what they felt was fair. The players they have now aren't overly impressive, but Diaz would likely have to spend some time in the minors before he became a major league option anyway, so it's not like he'd be stuffed into a crowded situation. With a 40-year-old Derek Jeter and injury prone Brian Roberts, the more options they have, the better. It's the same reason they should go for Stephen Drew, who Diaz could have been a cheaper alternative to.

Aledmys Diaz might not amount to much, but it would have been nice for the Yankees to take a chance and try to find value somewhere. Whether he's a shortstop, second baseman or third baseman, he would still represent an upgrade in the organizational depth chart at any of those positions.