Cards sign Cuban SS Diaz to major league deal

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Updated: 3/09 1:59 pm

Jupiter, FL ( - The St. Louis Cardinals signed Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz to a major league contract on Sunday.

Diaz will report to the Cardinals major league spring training camp Monday.

In 2012, the 23-year-old Diaz batted .315 with 12 home runs and 11 stolen bases in his final season for Los Naranjas de Villa Clara in Cuba's highest level professional league, the Seri Nacional.

"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."

Diaz played five seasons (2008-12) for Los Naranjas de Villa Clara starting when he was just 17. He's expected to start the 2014 season at the high minor league level as he gets acclimated with the Cardinals organization.

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