In 2015, Aledmys Diaz was removed from the St. Louis Cardinals 40-man roster to accommodate temporary first base solution Dan Johnson. In 2016, after being passed over for Ruben Tejada in the initial blueprints for the season, Aledmys Diaz was named a National League All-Star on the strength of a rookie campaign in which he posted a .879 OPS, a 133 wRC+, 17 home runs, and 3.5 Wins Above Replacement en route to a fifth place NL Rookie of the Year finish. In 2017, Aledmys Diaz was demoted to AAA after being supplanted by Paul DeJong as starting shortstop for the Cardinals.
Tonight, Aledmys Diaz’s roller coaster Cardinals career ended after he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for minor league outfielder J.B. Woodman.
Diaz, whose future role with the Cardinals was in question following the ascension of DeJong, is arbitration eligible, and his departure implies that the Cardinals did not have a particular plan in place for him in 2018. In addition to struggling at the MLB level in 2017, Diaz never quite found his footing at the plate in Memphis—he was actually slightly worse relative to league average at AAA than he was in St. Louis (77 wRC+ in 187 Memphis plate appearances). Diaz will now likely be a backup plan to Troy Tulowitzki, the talented but injury-prone incumbent in Toronto.
In exchange, the Cardinals received J.B. Woodman, who turns 23 later this month. A second round pick in 2016 out of Ole Miss, Woodman hit reasonably well in 2016 but struggled at the plate with the Lansing Lugnuts of the Class-A Midwest League, triple-slashing .240/.320/.378 in 414 plate appearances. He entered the season as the #13 prospect in the Blue Jays system, according to John Sickels of Minor League Ball.
All Cardinals stories are legally required to feature a Giancarlo Stanton tie-in at this point in time, and the story from that perspective here is that with the departure of Diaz, the Cardinals now have two openings on their 40-man roster.