Aledmys Diaz has signed a four-year contract, the St. Louis Cardinals announced this afternoon. Financial terms for the contract were not disclosed. He will officially report to the major league camp in Jupiter on Monday. Due to a suspension for not being truthful about his age, Diaz was unable to sign until February 19th. Because of the suspension, it has been 18 months since his last game.
The Cuban prospect has the flexibility to play second base, third base, and short stop but is likely to be assigned to play for the Springfield Cardinals of the AA Texas League to start the season. The signing comes a few weeks after Diaz had a private workout in front of Cardinals scouts, coaches, and executives.
“We have been following Aledmys for quite some time,” Cardinals Senior Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak said in a statement. “His signing marks a significant benchmark for the Cardinals in the international arena and we are excited to have reached this agreement.”
Born in 1990, the middle-infielder is described as being better with his bat than his glove. From what I have read from those that have seen Diaz play, he’s been described as a starter on a bad team and a utility player on a good team. Time will certainly tell as to what happens as Diaz climbs through the system.
The Cardinals have been trying to expand into the international market outside of the usual locations like Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
During the 2012 season, the 23-year-old hit .315 with 12 homers and 11 stolen bases in 270 at bats while playing for Los Naranjas de Villa Clara in Cuba’s Serie Nacional professional league. The league is the highest professional league in Cuba and has produced major league players in Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig, and Aroldis Chapman. Diaz played five years with the team during the 2008-12 seasons.