Matt Diaz
Matt Diaz
41-Year-Old OutfielderOF
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Matt Diaz in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Agreed to a minor league deal with the Marlins in March of 2013.
OFFree Agent  
February 5, 2014
Diaz announced his retirement from baseball on Tuesday.
ANALYSIS
The 35-year-old cited on his blog a desire to spend more time with his family, and not being "as driven" as the primary reasons for his retirement. Diaz finishes his career with a .290/.338/.429 batting line, playing in parts of 11 seasons for six teams. He appeared in only 10 games last year as a member of the Marlins, with a batting average of just .167.
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Are Diaz's days of being fantasy relevant behind him? Though he never managed to earn a full-time starting role, Diaz was an extremely valuable bat off the bench in his prime. From 2006-2009 he hit .316 with a .363 OBP. In the three years since, however, Diaz has hit just .250 with a .667 OPS. He has also seen his playing time drastically decrease. Though he once had decent power and speed, those skills have long since vanished. His bat was the reason he made it to the majors as he has never been a good defensive player. Diaz will get a chance to earn a bench spot with the Yankees during spring training after signing a minor league deal in December.
Diaz began last season in a platoon in left field with Garrett Jones after signing with Pittsburgh, but hit just .241 with no home runs through the first two months of the season. He was eventually relegated to the bench and then traded to Atlanta at the end of August, where he started just four games in a limited role. Talk of Diaz as an everyday player has vanished along with his power the last three seasons, but he does still hit lefties, as he batted .295 last season against southpaws (but just a .692 OPS) and has hit .329 with a .874 OPS in his career against them. He'll likely be used in a reserve role with Atlanta, but has some upside if he finds his way into a platoon in left field.
After Diaz's strong 2009 season it looked like he was finally ready to compete for an everyday job, but he was moved back to a platoon role again after a slow start (.615 OPS in the first half). Diaz missed almost two months when he needed surgery in May to remove the remnants of a splinter that had caused an infection in his right thumb. He improved in the second half (.833 OPS) but never found regular playing time. He hit just .250 after hitting over .310 each of the previous three seasons for the Braves. Part of the reason for his decline may be been due to a career low .283 BABIP. He still showed a strong platoon split again (.830 OPS vs. lefties compared to .633 OPS vs. righties), but has always been able to mash left-handed pitching (career .907 OPS). If used in a platoon role, Diaz could be a bounce-back candidate given his bad luck on balls in play and his hand injury.
After three years as a platoon player, Diaz may have finally established himself as an everyday regular in the majors. He destroys left-handed pitching (1.103 OPS vs. lefties last season) and has become Johan Santana's nemesis. Last season he hit enough against righties (seven homers and a .749 OPS) that he started to get everyday playing time late in the season. As a result, he'll have a real shot at contending for an everyday job during spring training. Even if he falls back into a platoon role, he's a productive fantasy player with decent power and even showed surprising speed last season (12 steals despite coming back from a torn knee ligament).
Diaz suffered a partial tear in the posterior cruciate ligament of his left knee in May and missed most of the season, briefly returning in late September. The Braves say he's back to full strength this offseason and will compete for playing time in left field. He has much better career numbers against left-handed pitchers (.869 OPS vs. .706 against righties), so he's likely to return to a platoon role.
Diaz proved his 2006 breakout season was no fluke by hitting .338 with 12 home runs as the right-handed part of a platoon in left field for the Braves. Diaz may have a chance this season to win the left field job outright since he hasn't had a huge drop-off against right-handed pitchers (.783 OPS vs. right-handed pitchers compared to .889 vs left-handed pitchers the last three seasons). His role probably depends on whether Brandon Jones has a strong enough spring to earn a spot in the lineup. Diaz will likely platoon with Jones in left field, but could win the job outright.
Diaz had a breakout season in his first full year in the majors at age 28. While he was used in a left-field platoon (.295/.327/.473 vs. lefties), he actually hit right-handed pitching better (.358/.400/.477 vs. righties). He isn't seen having enough power to win an everyday job, but he's always shown the ability to get on base in the minors. He could surprise once again if he keeps any sizable role in the outfield.
Diaz has more than mastered Triple-A, having hit 69 doubles and 35 HR in 762 AB over the past two seasons. However, he has not been able to carry that production into the big leagues. He hinted that he will spend the winter working on becoming a catcher. If he can become adequate behind the plate, he has a bat that would be difficult to ignore.
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Diaz had decent numbers at Triple-A last year, but the Rays put him on waivers in the offseason and nobody bit, so he's not a top-tier prospect yet. He's got another year or so to make a case for a spot in Tampa Bay's outfield until Jonny Gomes, Joey Gathright and then Delmon Young start crashing the scene.
More Fantasy News
OFMiami Marlins  
Knee
July 4, 2013
Diaz (knee) was moved to the 60-day DL on Thursday, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports.
ANALYSIS
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OFMiami Marlins  
Knee
May 20, 2013
Diaz has been placed on the 15-day DL with a bone contusion in his left knee, Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reports.
ANALYSIS
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OFMiami Marlins  
May 2, 2013
The Marlins recalled Diaz from Triple-A New Orleans on Thursday, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro reports.
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OFMiami Marlins  
March 25, 2013
Diaz agreed to a minor league contract with the Marlins on Monday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
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OFFree Agent  
March 17, 2013
The Yankees have released Diaz, the Journal-News reports.
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