Cardinals make international splash, sign Diaz

The St. Louis Cardinals and Cuban free agent infielder Aledmys Diaz agreed to terms today on a four year deal. While the financial terms weren’t readily available at signing, there have been numerous reports that it is worth less than $20 million in value. (Edit: Derrick Goold reports on Monday that the total value is 4 years, $8 million.) That’s a far cry from the five year, $25 million deal that Diaz’s agent had been publicly aiming for.

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The 2014 Pittsburgh Pirates

2013 Results: 94-68, 2nd in NL Central (3 games behind)
Key Arrivals: SP Edinson Volquez
Key Departures: SP A.J. Burnett, 1B Justin Morneau, OF Marlon Byrd, 1B Garret Jones, C John Buck, SP Jeff Karstens

The Pirates will be once again depending on the emergence of its young talent to continue its run to the top of the NL Central. They finally broke through, getting into the playoffs as a Wild Card, and then beating Cincinnati in the Wild Card Game. On the arms of their super rookie Gerrit Cole, the Pirates took the Cardinals to five games before Adam Wainwright did them in with the series on the line.

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The 2014 Cincinnati Reds

Continuing the NL Central Preview series, I am taking a look at each of the NL Central clubs and looking at their additions and figuring out what I project they could do in 2014.

2013 Results: 90-72, 7 games back
Key Arrivals: 2B Skip Schumaker, C Brayan Pena
Key Departures: OF Shin-Soo Choo, RHP Bronson Arroyo, C Ryan Hanigan, SS Cesar Izturis

The Reds were a lucky team in 2013. They managed to stay relatively healthy. Four of their five starters made more than 30 starts. Six of their eight position players started over 150 games. After they lost the Wild Card Game to the Pirates, the Reds decided to fire manager Dusty Baker. In his place, they promoted pitching coach Bryan Price to his first major league management position.

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The 2014 Milwaukee Brewers

Continuing the NL Central Preview series, I am taking a look at each of the NL Central clubs and looking at their additions and figuring out what I project they could do in 2014.

2013 Results: 74-88, 23 games back
Key Arrivals: SP Matt Garza, RP Will Smith, 2B Elian Herrera, 1B Mark Reynolds
Key Departures: RF Norichika Aoki, Mat Gamel

The Milwaukee Brewers are an interesting look for 2014. The 2013 Brewers weren’t really good at anything. They stacked up 19th in hitting and 16th in pitching. None of that really explains why I think the 2014 Brewers are going to be as good as I do.

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The 2014 Chicago Cubs

Continuing the NL Central Preview series, I am taking a look at each of the NL Central clubs and looking at their additions and figuring out what I project they could do in 2014.

2013 Results: 66-96, 31 games back
Key Arrivals: C George Kottaras, CF Justin Ruggiano, LHP Wesley Wright, RHP Jose Veras, RHP Jason Hammel, RHP James McDonald, 2B Emilio Bonifacio
Key Departures: RHP Kevin Gregg, RHP Scott Baker, RHP Daniel Bard, 1B Mat Gamel, LF Brian Bogusevic

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