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Cardinals sign Cuban free agent to contract


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JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals signed Cuban free agent shortstop Aledmys (Ah-led-mees) Diaz to a major league contract and he'll report to spring training on Monday.

The Cardinals were among a number of teams who held private workouts for the right-handed hitting Diaz.

The 23-year-old Diaz batted .315 with 12 home runs and 11 steals in 270 at-bats in 2012 for Los Naranjas de Villa Clara, Cuba's highest professional league, which has produced Oakland's Yoenis Cespedes, the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig and Cincinnati's Aroldis Chapman.

The Cardinals anticipate the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Diaz will start the year at the high minor league level.

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