There was much hand wringing when the Cardinals voided Mateo’s contract in September. Half a year later and he’s finally found a club in Arizona who signed him for $500k or one-sixth of his contract with the Cardinals.
It’s likely of little consolation to the Cardinals (after all it’s obvious they wanted to sign the kid) but this has to be viewed as a massive validation of their screening process. Mateo may go on to have a very successful career but the Cardinals (and 28 other teams) were scared off by what looks to be significant health issues in hindsight.
The Cardinals likely haven’t done any long term damage to their long term interests in Latin America. Cynical though it may sound, players from that part of the world are unlikely to turn down multi-million dollar contracts because of one isolated incident. The Cardinals will still need to augment their farm system this draft season but I’d expect them to invest heavily in the draft and shy away from any seven figure Latin American signings.
Previous Wagner Mateo coverage can be found here.