Aledmys Diaz crashed the St. Louis Cardinals starting lineup in 2016, made an All-Star Game appearance and would have been a stronger candidate for National League Rookie of the Year had injuries not limited him to 111 games.
But after a slow start in his sophomore season, the Cuban-born shortstop was optioned to Triple-A Memphis by late June and didn’t make it back to St. Louis until September call-ups.
Late Friday, the team announced Diaz had been traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for a minor league outfielder, J.B. Woodman.
Woodman, who turns 23 on Dec. 13, was the Blue Jays’ second-round pick in the 2016 draft out of the University of Mississippi. He spent the 2017 season playing mostly center field and right field for Class A Lansing in the Midwest League, where he batted .240 with 19 doubles, five triples, seven home runs and 45 RBI in 96 games.
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The left-handed hitting Woodman is 6-foot-2, 195 pounds and throws right-handed.
He helped Ole Miss reach the College World Series in his freshman year, and by his junior year in 2016, he tied for the Southeastern Conference lead with 14 home runs and was named a college All-American.
After signing with the Blue Jays in 2016, Woodman hit .272 at short-season Vancouver before a late-season promotion to Lansing. Woodman, a native of Orlando, Fla., was previously drafted by the New York Mets in the 40th round but did not sign.
Diaz, 27, made his big-league his debut with the Cardinals on April 5, 2016. In his first major-league season, he hit .300 with 17 home runs and an on-base percentage of .369.
But he slumped early in 2017 and appeared in just 79 games for the Cardinals. He batted .259 with seven home runs, and his on-base percentage fell to .290.
Diaz’s future with the team became clouded with the emergence of rookie Paul DeJong, who had 25 home runs, 65 RBIs and a .285 average in 108 games.
The Cardinals also announced Friday evening that they have tendered contracts to the remaining players on their 40-man Major League roster who were not already signed for 2018. Following Friday’s trade, the Cardinals roster currently stands at 38 players.