The highlight of Wednesday's work at Roger Dean Stadium occurred after the Cardinals' second full-squad workout of spring.

Long after the clubhouse emptied, general manager John Mozeliak and his chief lieutenants, manager Mike Matheny and coaches from both sides of camp attended a workout of Cuban shortstop Aledmys Diaz, who is expected to sign a major-league contract with a club within days.

The Cardinals are expected to follow up on their longstanding interest in the 23-year-old by extending a formal offer to his agent, Jaime Torres, within the next 24 hours.

Torres told the Post-Dispatch after the 45-minute workout that he expects his client will reach a decision by Friday or Saturday.

Diaz established residency in Mexico after defecting from Cuba and is prepared to join spring training immediately, according to Torres. Though Diaz still awaits necessary paperwork to participate in full-squad spring training games, he is eligible to appear in B games.

"He is prepared to move very quickly," Torres said of the timetable for signing. Wednesday represented the first day teams could submit formal bids for Diaz.

During Wednesday's 45-minute session Diaz, a righthanded hitter, worked out for the Cardinals exclusively at shortstop. He has shown himself defensively for other organizations on both sides of the bag.