St. Louis signs Diaz, Reyes

Thursday, December 16, 2004

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday signed free agent catcher Einar Diaz to a $600,000 one-year contract to be the backup to Yadier Molina.

Molina, a rookie last year, becomes the starter after Mike Matheny signed a free-agent deal with the Giants earlier this week.

Diaz, 31, batted .223 last year in 55 games with the Expos. Prior to last season he had averaged 106 games per season and he has a .256 career batting average with 20 home runs and 185 RBIs in six-plus seasons with the Indians, Rangers and Expos.

In addition to his salary, Diaz can earm $225,000 in performance bonuses under the contract agreed to Tuesday.

The Cardinals also signed right-handed reliever Al Reyes to a $600,000 one-year contract. Reyes had an 0.75 ERA in 12 late-season appearances with St. Louis last season, and led the Pacific Coast League with 23 saves for Class AAA Memphis.

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