JUPITER, Fla. (KMOX) – One day after announcing a contract extension for infielder Matt Carpenter, the St. Louis Cardinals made big news again Sunday by announcing the signing of Cuban free agent shortstop Aledmys Diaz.
The 23-year-old will report to the Cardinals major league spring training camp in Jupiter, Florida on Monday.
Diaz hit .315 with 12 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 270 at-bats during his final season (2012) playing for Los Naranjas de Villa Clara in Cuba’s Serie Nacional professional league. Serie Nacional is Cuba’s highest level professional league and has produced such recent stars as Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes, the Dodgers Yasiel Puig and Cincinnati’s Aroldis Chapman.
“We have been following Aledmys for quite some time,” stated Cardinals Senior Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak. “His signing marks a significant benchmark for the Cardinals in the international arena and we are excited to have reached this agreement.”
Diaz is considered to be an offensively-gifted middle infielder who the Cardinals anticipate will begin the 2014 season at the high minor league level as he becomes familiar with the organization.
The 6-1, 195-pound right-handed hitter held a private workout for the Cardinals in Jupiter, last month.