Though Diaz, 23, has primarily played shortstop over his career, he has received mixed reviews defensively with many scouts seeing him as a better fit at second base or a corner position. That could make him a perfect fit for the Braves, who have Andrelton Simmons locked up for the next seven years at shortstop.
Diaz officially became eligible to sign on Feb. 19th. He had previously been barred from signing a contract after lying about his age last year. He had claimed he was eight months older than he actually was so he would be exempt from international bonus pools and could earn more money. Ironically, now that he has served his punishment he actually is old enough to sign and be exempt.
Because of that, his price could go above what the Braves would be willing to pay. While the club appears to really like him, other teams like the Yankees, Giants, Athletics, Cardinals and Phillies being in the mix could make him rather expensive. For now the Yankees are rumored to be the favorites to land him. Given New York's financial standing and their loss of Robinson Cano, they may be willing to outspend other teams for Diaz's rights.
Current projections see Diaz earning around $30 million in a contract, which would be $5 million more than fellow Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena received from the Dodgers for four years and about $12 million less than Yasiel Puig's seven year contract.
Scouts believe the 6'1 Diaz has the potential to grow into an excellent hitter. He did not hit for a ton of power in the Cuban Serie Nacional, but is still young and has room to grow. If he puts on muscle mass, he could certainly ramp up his slugging. If not, he still showed a very nice bat in Cuba with a .315/.404/.500 batting line during the 2011-12 season, his last before defecting.