The excitement over the signing of Aledmys Diaz has subsided a bit and cooler heads have prevailed. 

The Cardinals have made it clear there is no chance he breaks camp with the big club. 

He'll go to Double-A, which is perfect for the 23-year-old Cuban defector who hasn't played ball in 18 months. 

Talent evaluators have made it clear Diaz has a lot of work to do in preparation for his big-league debut. 

The Cards will work to make him the shortstop of the future, but many think his future is at second base. 

Others teams made it clear he wasn't in quite as high demand as once thought. 

Originally, it was reported Diaz was expected to receive nearly $20 million over four years. He'll make $8 million over that same time period. 

With all the dust settled, the signing of Diaz makes perfect sense. 

Middle infield is a tough place to build depth. 

Shortstop and second base were once spots filled by light-hitting, defensive-minded little guys. They made their living on their gloves and legs.

Now, teams expect middle infielders to provide more offensive output while maintaining a high level of defense. 

Recently, the Cardinals have dealt with a revolving door of shortstops and second basemen. Many of them have fallen into the "all glove, no bat" category.

Just last year the Redbirds cycled in Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso and made the World Series while doing so. 

Suddenly, the Cards seem to be thick with middle infield talent. 

Kolten Wong could be set at second base for the foreseeable future. For this season, Mark Ellis is a respectable platoon option. 

The offseason signing of Jhonny Peralta solidifies shortstop for a few years. He brings an offense prowess to the position the Cards haven't had since Edgar Renteria. 

Kozma and Descalso will also still see major league playing time. Both are more than serviceable in the field. Both have come up with big hits in the clutch. 

Diaz deepens the entire system. 

If he can become the shortstop of the future, great. If he profiles more as a second baseman, that's OK, too. 

At the very least, he protects the Cardinals against injury. 

Plus, for $2 million a year, he's not breaking the bank. It's low-risk, high-reward. 

It's another strong move by General Manager John Mozeliak and the front office. Other than gifting Ty Wigginton $5 million, Mo has been on the money. 

Plus, the signing of Diaz strengthens the Cards' presence in the international market. That's a nice perk to what seems like a smart play.

Fans will continue to speculate what Diaz's presence means for members of the big league club.

Could it lead to the eventual trade of Peralta or Wong? The end of the Kozma/Descalso era? Maybe and maybe. Maybe not and maybe not. 

Nobody really knows. It's tough to predict how numbers from the Cuban league will translate to the majors. Many say it's about he equivalent of High A in the minors.

He, and we, are going to have to patient. He has a lot of work to do. 

JEFF WILSON is the online editor at The Southern Illiniosan. He can be reached at 618-351-5080 or Follow him on Twitter at @JeffTheSouthern.

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