Monday, January 14, 2013

Reds sign former All-Star Cesar Izturis, release non-roster invite list for spring training

After a period of great silence, the Reds have finally awaken us all from our winter slumber with some rare news on Monday.

According to beat writer Mark Sheldon, the team has announced the signing of veteran shortstop Cesar Izturis to a minor league contract. The 32-year old owns a career batting average of .255 over 12 seasons in the big show. However, his bat certainly isn't what has kept him in the major leagues all of these years. Izturis is known for his defensive ability rather than this offensive skills. He won a Gold Glove in 2004 and was dubbed an All-Star in 2005.

Cincinnati will be the ninth organization he has played for after previously serving stints with the Blue Jays, Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Pirates, Cardinals, Orioles, and most notably, the Dodgers.

Izturis is expected to compete for a spot on the 25-man roster as a backup middle infielder.

In other Reds-related news, he along with 14 others, have been invited to Spring Training as non-roster invitees. Here is the rest of the list:

RHP Nick Christiani

LHP Wilkin De La Rosa

RHP Justin Freeman

RHP Drew Hayes

RHP Chad Rogers

C Nevin Ashley

C Tucker Barnhart

C Corky Miller

IF Emmanuel Burriss

IF Cesar Izturis

IF Kristopher Negron

OF Billy Hamilton

OF Ryan LaMarre

OF Denis Phipps

OF Derrick Robinson

Although Izturis stole the headline, the biggest name on this list is speedster Billy Hamilton. This spring will mark the first big league camp and his first full season as an outfielder. Although viewed by many as a longshot to make the team out of camp, he may see some time in Cincy before the season is up.

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