The Cardinals signed Cuban free agent shortstop Aledmys Diaz to a major league contract and he'll report to spring training Monday.
The Cardinals were among a number of teams, including the Yankees, who held private workouts for the righthanded hitting Diaz. The deal is believed to be for $15 million-$20 million for four years.
‘‘We have been following Aledmys for quite some time,’’ 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.’’
The deal came a day after St. Louis signed third baseman and leadoff man Matt Carpenter to a six-year, $52 million contract. During the offseason, the Cardinals committed $53 million over four years to sign shortstop Jhonny Peralta, so they could face a position logjam in the near future.
Diaz, 23, 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-inch, 195-pound Diaz will start the year at a high minor league level.
Diaz has represented Cuba in several international tournaments, including the 2010 World University Championship games in Tokyo.
Braves starter Kris Medlen left in the fourth inning of a game against the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla., with a strained right forearm.
Medlen threw a pitch to Matt Clark, and then grabbed his right elbow and turned his back to home plate.
The righthander, who was slated to start Opening Day for Atlanta, removed himself from the game. He was examined by the Mets’ team doctor and will be evaluated Monday.
Medlen was 15-12 last year with a 3.11 ERA in 197 innings. The 28-year-old had Tommy John surgery in 2010.
‘‘Any time a pitcher walks off the mound and meets you at the foul line, you worry,’’ Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ‘‘But after everything kind of settled down, we’re optimistic it’s nothing really major.’’
Dodgers pick starters
Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu will be the Dodgers’ starting pitchers in their two-game season-opening series in Australia against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The games will be March 22-23 at Sydney Cricket Ground.
Kershaw will be making his fourth straight season-opening start for Los Angeles.
Manager Don Mattingly made the announcement after weeks of speculation.
Ryu got the start in Game 2 because of an injury to Zack Greinke, who strained his right calf in his only spring appearance Feb. 27 against Arizona.
Before getting hurt, Greinke said there was ‘‘zero interest’’ in making the long trip. He is not expected to travel.
Greinke was scheduled to throw a bullpen Monday.
In Tampa, David Phelps boosted his bid to become the Yankees’ fifth starter, pitching five scoreless innings during a 3-3 tie with the Rays in 10 innings. Phelps, who gave up three hits and struck out one, is competing with Michael Pineda, Adam Warren, and Vidal Nuno for the final rotation spot. The righthander has been touched for two runs over 9⅔ innings in three starts . . . In Viera, Fla., Stephen Strasburg overcame a shaky first inning and the Nationals’ offense came up big again in an 11-1 victory over the Cardinals. Strasburg walked two and gave up an RBI single to his first three batters before settling down. He went three innings, allowing two hits while throwing 28 of 48 pitches for strikes . . . In Kissimmee, Fla., R.A. Dickey pitched five shutout innings before the Astros came back to beat the Blue Jays, 4-3. Dickey threw 82 pitches in five innings in his third spring start, giving up four hits and a walk while striking out four . . . At Jupiter, Fla., Giancarlo Stanton hit his first home run of spring training for Miami and the Marlins lost to the Tigers, 3-1. Stanton homered on the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the fourth, a shot that landed on the second-floor balcony of the Marlins’ executive office in left field . . . In Glendale, Ariz., Dodgers starter Josh Beckett gave up three home runs in three innings in an 8-5 loss to the Mariners Saturday night in split-squad game.