Baseball - Major League Baseball roundup

March 9 (The Sports Xchange) - The St.

Reuters

Louis Cardinals signed Cuban free-agent shortstop Aledmys Diaz to a four-year contract on Sunday.

He will report to spring training in Jupiter, Florida, on Monday. Financial terms were not announced.

Diaz, 23, batted .315 with 12 home runs and 11 stolen bases in 270 at-bats in Cuba's highest-level professional league in 2012. He played professionally in Cuba for five seasons (2008-12), beginning when he was 17.

"We have been following Aledmys for quite some time," Cardinals senior vice president/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."

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Atlanta Braves starter Kris Medlen left Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the New York Mets in the fourth inning with a strained right forearm.

Medlen grabbed his right elbow and turned his back to home plate after throwing a pitch to New York's Matt Clark.

The 28-year-old is scheduled to be Atlanta's Opening Day starter. He was examined by the team's doctor and will be re-evaluated on Monday.

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Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly says outfielder Matt Kemp is close to returning from offseason ankle surgery. Kemp has yet to play in a spring training game this year.

The star outfielder has been running and tracking fly balls in the outfield. Even though Kemp will not play in the Dodgers' regular-season opener in Australia, Mattingly believes he is progressing well.

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Cincinnati Reds right-hander Mat Latos will not start Opening Day but could be ready to return by April 6, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

Latos is coming off recent knee surgery. He threw his first bullpen session of the spring on Wednesday and another on Saturday without any issues.

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Kansas City Royals second baseman Omar Infante, who has not played in a week due to shoulder inflammation, told the Kansas City Star that he feels better. The Venezuelan hopes to return to Cactus League action on Monday.

Last year, Infante batted .318 with 10 home runs and 51 RBIs with the Detroit Tigers. He signed a four-year, $30 million free-agent contract with the Royals in the offseason.

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