Saturday, February 2, 2013
The issue of Diaz's DOB
By Jason Catania
It's not often that an international player wants to present himself as older than he actually is, but that may be what's going on with Aledyms Diaz.
The Cuban defector's true age is being investigated by Major League Baseball, per Baseball America's Ben Badler.
Oddly, though, the question isn't how much older Diaz actually is than his given date of birth -- it's how much younger he might be. One listed DOB is Aug. 1, 1990, which would make Diaz 22; whereas Diaz is claiming to be born on Jan. 8, 1990, which would make him 23.
The reason for what otherwise seems like backward logic -- on the international market, younger players often are considered more valuable because they have more time to develop -- is that under the new CBA, any Cuban-born player who has three-plus years of pro experience and is at least 23 years old is not subject to the international spending budget that MLB teams must adhere to. For the 2012-13 signing period, that amount is $2.9 million, and if a team exceeds that number, penalties are imposed on future international signings.
So for Diaz, it's actually better to be 23 rather than 22, since he would be able to land a contract worth many more millions of dollars.
Given this situation, MLB teams haven't shown much interest in Diaz, who scouting reports indicate is more of a potential utility player with some offensive upside than a starting big league shortstop. Until clubs have a definitive answer about his age, it's unlikely that Diaz will be able to land a contract. One team that has been mentioned as a possibility, though, is the Detroit Tigers, according to George Sipple of the Free Press.