A quick little Twitter exchange I just had with @lgcpubs about the Cardinals trade of Aledmys Diaz for J.B Woodman made me want to elaborate on something really quick, while giving an idea of organizational hierarchy.
This was the question/thought from @lgcpubs:
"The Diaz trade is a complete enigma. Why do the Cards need another OF? I love the name Woodman as well but don’t think he is for long."
First, the acquisition of Woodman is all about organizational depth. Make no mistake, Woodman has very little value in a trade. The Cardinals alone have at least 8 other outfielders that have more trade value than he does. There's a very good chance he'll be staying in the organization.
Now, you might be thinking "Hey. Dummy. The Cardinals are deep organizationally in the outfield. you just wrote about it. Why would this be a move for organizational depth?" Well, you're right. Let's be realistic, though. Any trade to improve the team is going to dip into the outfield depth. While Woodman doesn't have much trade value, a lot of the players higher up in the organization do have value. Think of Woodman as a chance to back fill some of the depth that will eventually be traded.
Next, remember that most of the Cardinals high-level outfield talent is at the high-levels of the minor leagues. Arozarena, Mercado, O'Neill, Sierra, JAG, and Bader are all jammed up at the top two levels, but behind those guys is a window, really. Dylan Carlson will be ready for a promotion, but there's no telling yet where that's going to be. Wadye Infante, Scott Hurst, and Chase Pinder will all be in Peoria, but what's going to be in Palm Beach? There are some decent OF's that are ticketed for there, but aside from Lane Thomas none of those guys offer any upside other than short-term organizational depth. Woodman still has some upside buried in his athleticism and size.
It's at a different level, but I view Woodman as a direct organizational replacement for Nick Martini, who just signed a minor league deal with Oakland. I hate to keep saying "back fill", but it's a protective move to keep organizational depth strong while replacing an important organizational depth player.
And, finally, this might be more than just a move for an outfielder. Woodman has played a little first base in the past. There isn't much to find in the way of a scout report for how he handles the position other than that he appears fine at first. If there is one thing that this week of Top 5 countdowns has proven it's that the Cardinals have a beyond-glaring hole in talent at first base. Like Nick Martini before him, he'll be able to fill two holes when needed.
All of those things and it clears a 40 man roster spot.
Just some quick thoughts! What do you think? Does any of this make sense?!
Thanks For Reading!