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Athletics rumors: Cuban prospect Aledmys Diaz on radar

Oakland will be one of several teams attending an upcoming work out with the young shortstop.

Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

The Oakland Athletics are interested in Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz and will be among the teams scouting the young shortstop at an upcoming showcase, reports Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Sources told The Chronicle that Oakland will be among the teams in attendance when shortstop Aledmys Diaz, 23, works out for clubs at the end of this month along with countryman Dariel Alvarez, an outfielder.

We've regaled you with the story of Diaz and Alvarez on a few occasions over the last two months. Both players defected from Cuba last summer -- on separate occasions -- and set up residency in Mexico to become international free agents. The pair was granted free agency in December, but neither has worked out for MLB clubs yet.

Diaz is the more coveted of the two players -- up to 10 teams were thought to be interested earlier this month -- and since he turned 23 a few weeks ago, he is no longer bound by the international spending restrictions of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The A's signed another international free agent, Hiroyuki Nakajima, to take over as their starting shortstop earlier this winter, but the club still lacks depth at the position. Though not believed to be MLB-ready, Diaz could provide that depth and ensure that the team does not have to rush top prospect Addison Russell in the event that Nakajima does not pan out.