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Cardinals Sign Cuban Infielder Aledmys Diaz

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Finally.

@Cardinals Twitter Account

According to Jeff Passan and later confirmed by the team, the Cardinals have signed Cuban infielder Aledmys Diaz, and it is believed to be a 4-year deal. He will join the team tomorrow, and it is reported that he will start the season in the upper levels of the minor leagues.

The Diaz frenzy began on February 19 when Joe Strauss of the Post Dispatch reported that the infielder had a private workout with the team on the back fields of Roger Dean. In the weeks that followed, teams such as the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins decided to pass on the 23-year-old, but the Cardinals always remained interested due to the possibility of him playing both middle infield positions.

Reliable, detailed information on Diaz was not readily available, so I decided to dig deeper into the situation:

  • I interviewed Joe Kehoskie, a former player agent and current baseball consultant, who had seen Diaz play firsthand, and it can be found here.
  • I asked Peter Bjarkman, a Cuban baseball historian, for his take on Diaz as well.
Neither Kehoskie nor Bjarkman were too thrilled about his chances to become a starting shortstop in the major leagues, especially on a team like the Cardinals. Both saw him more as a utility guy than a future shortstop. However, I have an enormous amount of trust in Dan Kantrovitz and the Cardinals front office staff, so they obviously saw something they felt like they could develop in Diaz. Aledmys was classified as a "very heady player with considerable baseball savvy," so he sounds like a perfect fit for the organization.

Well, I guess this is the conclusion of the waiting game on Diaz. I did a ton of research on him, and I really wanted to be the one to break the news if he did indeed sign with the Cardinals. Despite the questionable scouting reports that I linked above, I am extremely intrigued by the signing, especially if they were able to sign him in the $20-25 million range.