By Andrew Hendriks
Canadian Baseball Network
Only hours removed from formally announcing that the club had effectively cut ties with right-hander Tom Koehler and utility infielder Ryan Goins at the non-tender deadline, the Toronto Blue Jays promptly traded outfield prospect J.B. Woodman to the St. Louis Cardinals for utility infielder Aledmys Diaz on Friday.
Diaz, 27, joins Toronto having posted a slash line of .283/.338/.461 with 72 extra-base-hits through 690 at-bats in the Show.
A National League All-Star and Rookie of the Year candidate in 2016, the right-handed hitting product of Santa Clara, Cuba experienced a drop in his production last season and bounced between the minor and major leagues prior to becoming expendable due in part to an impressive first-year showing from fellow infielder Paul DeJong.
Like Goins, Diaz comes with the capability of playing multiple defensive positions and, barring his inability to bounce back from a down year in 2017, should provide Toronto with some added offensive value off the bench.
Should this be the end of Goins' tenure in Toronto, the 29-year-old slick fielding native of Temple, Texas will finish his Blue Jays' career with an overall slash line of .228/.275/.335 across 448 games over parts of five seasons.
Koehler, 31, appeared in 15 games with the Blue Jays in 2017, pitching to an ERA of 2.65 with 18 strikeouts against six walks over 17 innings dating back to a late August trade with Miami.
Woodman, 22, appeared in 96 games with low-A Lansing last season and produced an OPS of .699 through 414 plate appearances.
Aside from bidding farewell to Goins and Koehler on Friday, the club also issued contracts to nine arbitration-eligible players.
The Blue Jays will have between now and next February to work out deals with Aaron Loup, Dominic Leone, Devon Travis, Ezequiel Carerra, Kevin Pillar, Aaron Sanchez, Roberto Osuna, Marcus Stroman and 2015 American League Most Valuable Player, Josh Donaldson.
Should both parties fail to reach an agreement over that period, the two sides will be then be subjected to arbitration hearings in advance of Opening Day on March 29.
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