Stephen Drew rumors: Aledmys Diaz could be a factor in shortstop market

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Diaz, a Cuban shortstop, will be able to sign with teams this month.

Free agent shortstop Stephen Drew might have to wait for a team to sign Cuban defector Aledmys Diaz to sign his own deal. Diaz has drawn interest from eight teams including the Yankees and Red Sox, according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez (via Fox Sport's Jon Morosi). The 23-year-old shortstop will be eligible to sign with major league clubs later this month.

For teams like the Yankees and Red Sox, Diaz represents a much more cost-effective option that doesn't require them to forfeit a draft pick.

Drew would almost certainly make a bigger impact in the immediate future, but the cost of draft compensation on top of what would likely be a lucrative multiyear deal has caused his market to stagnate.

After Diaz is unblocked by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), he'll be able to sign with MLB teams as a free agent. Since he played in Cuba's national league -- Serie Nacional -- for the minimum of three seasons, he'll be exempt from international signing guidelines in the collective bargaining agreement. So, unlike free agents from Latin America with limited experience, Diaz will not cost teams any of their international pool money.

MLB declared Diaz ineligible to sign until Feb. 19th due to a falsified birth date.

Once Diaz signs, the clubs that missed out on him could begin considering Drew despite the considerable cost. Of the teams listed in Sanchez' report -- the Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants, Orioles, Rays, Red Sox, and Yankees -- New York seems like the most likely landing spot for Drew, though they might decide to go the cheaper route and sign Diaz away from the other seven clubs on that list.

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