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Reds sign Jose Iglesias to minor league deal, per source

The deal includes an invite to spring training for Iglesias, who hasn’t appeared in the minors since a 2016 rehab assignment.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds are in agreement with free agent infielder Jose Iglesias on a minor-league deal with an invitation to the team’s major-league spring training camp, according to a league source.

Just yesterday, Ken Rosenthal and C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic combined to report that Iglesias was nearing a deal with the Reds.

Iglesias came up through the Boston Red Sox system after he joined the organization as an international free agent prospect in 2009. He made his major-league debut early in the 2011 season, but did not find himself on the field much; he appeared in just 10 games, and only six at-bats, recording two singles while not walking or striking out.

He struggled through 20 games in 2012 before making a large impression in 2013, which he spent with two clubs. He started with Boston before being flipped to the Tigers in a three-team trade. That season, he slashed .303/.349/.386 in 109 games, and since he was still eligible to be a rookie, he finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting.

Iglesias missed all of the 2014 season due to stress fractures in his shins, but he returned for the 2015 season and produced a strong year that earned him a spot on the American League All-Star team. Through 120 games, he slashed .300/.347/.370, before quieting down a bit in 2016 and 2017; however, his playing skills were still good enough to keep him in 267 games over those two seasons.

Last season, Iglesias slashed .269/.310/.389 over 125 games, racking up 41 runs batted in on 116 hits, including 31 doubles and five homers, as well as three triples. He also walked 19 times and struck out 47 times.

Sure, this offseason has been slow, but Iglesias settling for a minor-league deal has come as a surprise to many, especially considering that he is a strong fielder, too. He had a .983 fielding percentage in 2018, recording 148 putouts and 316 assists while being responsible for just eight errors through 122 games at shortstop.

Iglesias, now 29, recorded a 2.5 score in the Wins Above Replacement category last season, per FanGraphs, which was a career-high for the 5-foot-11 speedster.

Despite signing a minor-league deal, Iglesias, who has not appeared in a minor league game since a four-game rehab assignment in 2016, is still expected to have an impressive spring training performance as he aims to show that he is still worthy of being a major-leaguer.