Cardinals sign Cuban Aledmys Diaz
JUPITER, FL (The Spread) – The St. Louis Cardinals, the current favorites to win the NL Central, have signed Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals’ deal with Diaz is for four years at $8 million, which is significantly less what some media members speculated that the Cuban would sign for. Some estimated that Diaz would sign from anywhere between $15 and $30 million, but clearly those figures were exaggerated. Either that, or with the Yankees and Twins backing off in their pursuit of Diaz, his market value crashed.
Diaz batted .315 with 12 home runs and 11 stolen bases over 313 plate appearances in his final year in Cuba and sat out last season while serving a suspension from MLB for falsifying his age. With the Cardinals currently have Jhonny Peralta at shortstop and the combination of Kolten Wong and Mark Ellis at second, Diaz is expected to start his career in the minors.
As previously mentioned, the Cardinals remain favored to win the NL Central in 2014 at -175 odds. According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Reds and Pirates both have +375 odds to win the division, while the Brewers are +1400 and the Cubs have the longest odds at +2500.
The Cardinals also have the second-best odds to win the 2014 World Series at 15/2, while the Dodgers are favored to win it all at 13/2. The Tigers, meanwhile, are 9/1, while the Red Sox, Rays and Nationals are all 12/1. The Yankees are also 14/1 while the Giants and Rangers are 16/1.