The Cincinnati Reds have signed infielder Ramon Santiago to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to major league spring training, as Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com first reported. Santiago will receive $1.1 million if he makes the major league roster.
Santiago, who drew interest from multiple teams this offseason, heads to Cincinnati after spending the last eight seasons with the Tigers. He will likely make the big league team out of spring training, serving in a backup role to shortstop Zack Cosart. If Santiago does not make the Reds' roster, he can opt out of his deal at the end of spring training and seek a better opportunity on the free agent market.
Santiago, 34, hit .224 with 1 HR and 14 RBI in 80 games at second base, shortstop, and third base for the Tigers last season, his twelfth in the major leagues. For his career, Santiago is a lifetime .243 hitter with 28 HR and 197 RBI in 845 career games with the Tigers (2002-2003, 2006-2013) and Mariners (2004-2005).
Santiago is the second addition of an infielder for the Reds this week, joining fellow minor league-signee Chris Nelson. Nelson also has a decent shot of making the club out of spring training, but a source indicates that he can opt out of his deal on March 28th if he is not on the major league roster.