Cards sign Cuban SS Aledmys Diaz
The Cardinals, who addressed their shortstop deficiency for the immediate by signing Jhonny Peralta in November, added to that depth in a significant way by signing highly-touted Cuban free agent Aledmys Diaz to a Major League contract. The Cardinals did not release details of the contract, but MLB.com confirmed it to be for four years.
The organization, which announced the signing on Sunday, hosted Diaz for a workout at the team’s Spring Training complex in February. Diaz is scheduled to report to Cardinals camp on Monday.
“We have been following Aledmys for quite some time,” general manager John Mozeliak said in a statement released Sunday. “His signing marks a significant benchmark for the Cardinals in the international arena, and we are excited to have reached this agreement.”
Diaz, 23, defected from Cuba in 2012 while playing in a tournament in the Netherlands. He established residency in Mexico so that he would be able to sign with a Major League club but was declared ineligible last summer after presenting a false birth date in his paperwork.
That period of ineligibility ended on Feb. 19, which is why Diaz spent much of last month traveling around to tryouts with various clubs. The Cardinals had already been active in scouting Diaz while the infielder worked out in Mexico awaiting clearance to sign. It was only recently, though, that the organization began pouring more resources into international scouting.
As a result, this represents the biggest splash the Cardinals have ever made in the international market.
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