Cardinals get Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz for much cheaper than originally expected

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Initial reports of Aledmys Diaz’s deal with the Cardinals suggested he’d be getting at least $20 million over four seasons, but Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch now writes that the Cuban shortstop is getting significantly less upfront money.

According to Goold it’s a four-year, $8 million deal, which is essentially utility infielder money for the 23-year-old who hit .315 with 12 homers and 11 steals in 313 plate appearances during his final Cuban season.

There are questions about Diaz’s ability to play shortstop in the majors, but even as a part-timer used mostly at second base or third base he could provide a strong return on that minimal investment pretty easily. For now, though, Diaz is likely slated to spend some time in the minors.

Report: MLB likely to unilaterally implement pace of play changes

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.

Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”

The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.

It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.