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UA designated Jordan Diaz for Assignment

IA's announced a series of moves Thursday, putting an outfielder Esteury Ruiz in the list of 10 days injured with difficulty of the left hand, choosing the contract of Daz Cameron from Triple-A Las Vegas and designated hitter Jordan Diaz so that the allocation would make room for Cameron for 40 men.

Diaz, 23, signed overseas in Colombia and landed on Baseball America's list of the top 30 prospects in the Oakland program in 2019, the first of five consecutive years on the list. He was added to the club's 40-man roster in November 2021, making him exempt from the Rule 5 roster. That roster spot went to Diaz after he hit 13 home runs in 90 High-A games that year, hitting .288/.337/.483 overall.

Unfortunately, the results since then have not been so good. He hit ten home runs in his 344 major league games but walked just 5.5% of the time, resulting in a .227/.276/.358 line. That production translates to a wRC+ of 79, which is 21% worse than league average.

His minor league production has been strong the past two years but has fallen off a cliff here in 2024. He hit .321/.363/.513 on the farm in 2022 and 2023 but his line is .204/.288/.327 so far this year. His 9.9% walk rate in 2024 is an improvement for him but he still has just two runs in 111 trips to the plate and his batting average is clearly not good.

He's now in his final option year, so there was kind of a ticking clock behind him this year. Since he got off to such a bad start, the A's took him off the roster now to make room. They will have a week to try to trade Diaz or move him off waivers. Perhaps a rival club looking for infield depth will be interested based on his past seasons. Diaz can play three non-shortstop positions in the infield and get very short looks in the opposition and left field. He can be kept on special assignment for up to a year and has less than a year of service at that time.

Removing Diaz from the 40-man roster makes room for Cameron, who will replace Ruiz in the team's rotation. Cameron, 27, signed a minor league deal with the As early in the season and has been pitching well in Triple-A this year. He has earned a walk in 16.4% of his 165 plate appearances and has also hit six home runs, leading to a .307/.424/.577 batting line. Even in the friendly Pacific Coast League, that's still 46% better than the league average. He also stole eight bases in ten at-bats.

Cameron has impressed in the minors before but has struggled in his efforts to take that brand to the majors. He made 244 plate appearances with the Tigers in 2020-22 but hit .201/.266/.330 in that span, hitting at a 31.6% clip.

He used up his draft age then and has been in the minors ever since, with the Orioles last year and the A's so far this year. If things get too stressful for him this time around, he can be kept in the A's since he has less than two years of service left. In the meantime, you will join the club's outdoor mix on the side JJ Bleday, Brent Rooker, Seth Brown again Tyler Nevin.

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