The St. Louis Cardinals have signed Cuban infielder Aledmys Diaz to a four-year major league contract, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Diaz will earn $8MM over the life of the contract, signifying a substantial departure from the original speculative value of the deal.
Diaz, 23, worked out for top Cardinals' brass in mid-February and received an offer from the team by the end of last month. He also drew significant interest from the Giants, Yankees, Blue Jays, Athletics, Braves, Mariners and Phillies before deciding to head to St. Louis.
Although he has primarily been a shortstop, Diaz will likely see time at both middle infield positions for the Cardinals over the next four years. The team has newly-signed shortstop Jhonny Peralta and top prospect Kolten Wong slotted into starting spots in front of backups Pete Kozma and Mark Ellis, so the addition of Diaz on a long-term deal is a bit of a surprising one.
Diaz is known for his ability to hit for average, but is not thought of as a power threat. He hit .308 in Cuba's Serie Nacional from 2008 to 2012, notching 12 home runs in his last season while making 24 errors in 90 games. For a more detailed look at Diaz, check out Joe Schwarz's piece from last month over at Viva El Birdos.