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Cards increasing efforts in international market

Cards increasing efforts in international market

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Cards increasing efforts in international market

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Though the Cardinals continue the process of increasing their presence and operations internationally, general manager John Mozeliak suggested that the club still remains about a year away from potentially becoming serious players in those markets.

That statement came in response to a question asked about the new posting system that has been agreed to between Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball. As this new proposal reads, teams can bid up to $20 million to secure negotiating rights with a Japanese player that has been posted by its club. If multiple teams make that maximum bid, they are all then free to negotiate with the player.

In the past, the Cards were wary of entering a bidding war that had no such limit.

Over the past few years, the Cardinals, led by director of player personnel Matt Slater, have begun to focus on becoming more engaged in both the Asian and Cuban markets. Unlike Latin America, neither of these markets features a spending cap. The Cardinals intend to increase the number of international scouts in their department within the next few months.

"Those are certainly things we can explore," Mozeliak said. "I still think, though, from a pure business standpoint, we're not at the point where we can be overly aggressive now. We're still gathering information or data to formulate a strategy. We're gaining confidence, but we're not full stride."

The Cardinals have been methodical in their work within the areas of player procurement. When the organization began to change its operational initiative about a decade ago, the first focus was the First-Year Player Draft. Then attention turned to Latin America. Now, the view is more worldwide.

"We certainly could have been touchy-feely in those, but I don't think we would have been doing them right," Mozeliak said. "These other areas we've become very accomplished in, and now we can start moving on."

The Cardinals have been among the teams recently scouting Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz, but based on Mozeliak's comments about the organization's current international position, it would seem unlikely they'd make a serious push at signing him. Diaz, 23, will be eligible to sign with a Major League team on Feb. 19.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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