Reds sign Ramon Santiago

The Reds, seeking infield help with experience at shortstop, signed veteran Ramon Santiago to a Minor League contract with an invitation to big league camp at Spring Training — a source confirmed to MLB.com on Wednesday. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com first reported the deal.

If Santiago makes the club, he can earn $1.1 million in salary for 2014.

Santiago, 34, is a 12-season veteran of the Tigers and Mariners. Last season for Detroit, the switch hitter batted .224/.288/.298 in 80 games. He can play shortstop, second base and third base.

UPDATE — the Reds confirmed the deal is done.

UPDATE No. 2: Santiago has some incentive clauses in his contract: $50,000 for 300 plate appearances, $100,000 for 400 PA and $150,000 for 500 PA. He also has an out clause by March 28 if he does not make the big league club at camp.

Click here to read the story on MLB.com, with comments from GM Walt Jocketty.

11 Comments

Ramon has played in 845 MLB games in 12 years…..with 548 hits and 179 walks….. Boy oh boy… a grand total of 197 RBI’s…. hmmmmmmmm..Not the solution Walt…..

so it will be a battle for the 25th man between RH hitting Nelson(3B/2B), switch hitter Santiago(3B,SS,2B) and switch hitter H-Rod(2B,3B/SS) and maybe RH hitter Neal (OF)? Or can you through lefty Hannahan (3B/1B) in there and call it a battle for the last 2 spots?

Something worth reading:
From JASON STARK MLB BLOG::Frustrated Bronson Arroyo still in limbo
January, 29, 2014
JAN 29
11:09
AM ET
RECOMMEND19TWEET115COMMENTS6EMAILPRINT
Bronson Arroyo doesn’t get it. And how can you blame him?

He’s thrown at least 199 innings in nine seasons in a row. He’s never spent 15 minutes, let alone 15 days, on the disabled list. There isn’t a pitcher in the entire sport who has started more games than he has since 2005.

And where has it gotten him? To the unemployment line. That’s where.

He was going along fine for one month, then two, then three, this winter. But when he saw the Yankees just fire $155 million at a man who had never thrown a pitch in the big leagues — Masahiro Tanaka — Arroyo’s frustrations finally boiled over.

[+] Enlarge
Bryan Price
AP Photo/Al Behrman
Bronson Arroyo won 14 games, pitched 202 innings and had a sub-4.00 ERA last season, yet he’s still among the unemployed.
“I get [Clayton] Kershaw,” Arroyo told ESPN.com. “I get why he got all that money. But then you’ve got guys like Dice-K [Matsuzaka], who came over here and was good for the first couple years but then didn’t pan out. And when he doesn’t pan out, they all just forget and go on to the next guy who’s not proven, and pay him.

“Meanwhile, they forget about guys like me, who have done the job for the last eight or 10 years, and treat them like they’ve never done anything in this game. That’s hard, man.”

Arroyo said 12 teams have made contact with his agent, Terry Bross, this winter, but he hasn’t gotten close to a deal with any of them. And it’s the last week of January.

“I don’t even have an offer to turn down,” he said. “So I might still be sitting here on March 1. I have no idea.”

His old team, the Reds, loves him but is ready to move on. He had strong interest from the Twins earlier in the offseason, but they re-signed Mike Pelfrey instead. And while Arroyo has been linked to a long list of teams at various times — Orioles, Dodgers, Mariners, Mets, Angels, Phillies, Pirates, etc. — he’s still in limbo, along with a surprising number of other veteran starters.

“I don’t know what to do,” Arroyo said. “I’m not trying to break the bank. But I am a guy who’s performed for the last 10 years as consistently as anybody in the game. And for some reason, nobody’s thrown me an offer yet.”

So how consistent has Arroyo been? He and Mark Buehrle are the only pitchers in baseball who have pitched 199 innings or more in every one of the past nine seasons. Only CC Sabathia and Dan Haren have thrown more total innings than the 1,895.2 Arroyo has pitched over those nine years. And he and Haren are tied for the most games started in the big leagues in that period, with 297, an average of 33 a year.

MOST GAMES STARTED, 2005-13
Bronson Arroyo 297
Dan Haren 297
Mark Buehrle 290
CC Sabathia 289
A.J. Burnett 271
Felix Hernandez 269
Cliff Lee 267
Not to mention: He’s had a sub-4.00 ERA, despite pitching in a hitter’s paradise in Cincinnati, in four of the past five years. The Reds have had a better winning percentage in his starts since 2008 (.531) than they’ve had when other pitchers started (.522). And his walk rate has gone down in five straight seasons.

For much of the offseason, Arroyo was looking for a three-year guaranteed deal worth slightly more than $30 million, according to teams that have spoken with him. But an executive of one club now expects him to wind up with two years, plus an option, at around the same AAV. Which still would make him a cheaper buy than Ricky Nolasco, Scott Kazmir or Scott Feldman were this winter. And Arroyo has outperformed them all.

“I’m not surprised that he doesn’t get it, because I don’t get it, either,” said one AL exec whose team isn’t a fit. “I guess people are concerned about his age [he turns 37 next month]. But he’s 37 going on 27. He’s got a loose, limber body. He’s never been on the DL. He never misses a start. He doesn’t cost you a draft pick. He’s a tremendous teammate. He’s helped a lot of [young] pitchers on his team. So I don’t understand it. I really don’t.”

Arroyo jokes about being this year’s Kyle Lohse, “throwing against my high school baseball team in March to stay sharp.” But he keeps telling himself that scenario makes no sense.

“I know, eventually, it’ll get done,” he said. “There are too many holes in too many rotations, and there aren’t enough pitchers out there who can throw you 200 innings. So I’m just sitting here waiting for an offer.”

And if he’s still waiting a month from now, we’ll know this starting-pitcher market has officially turned into one of the weirdest ever.

I could be wrong but I believe the Reds are depending on their pitching staff to carry the load in 2014. Otherwise it seems they could’ve (should’ve) unloaded at least two bullpen pitchers and maybe a starter (Bailey ,who they won’t resign) to acquire a bat in the starting lineup. I hope it works out but my guess is Bailey and others will be available at the trade deadline.

I think it is very telling when a usually mum GM feels it necessary to justify his work. Maybe the big splash we hope for isn’t coming.

Ramon Santiago = Izturis = Wilson Valdez.

Santiago is the reds flavor of the year to be a nonproductive shortstop reserve who gets 15 starts. Happens every year.

None of our pitchers will be available at the trade deadline. If you think this team cant stay in the race until the end to at least get a wild card then you havent paid attention the last couple of years. This team is good enough to get in but not good enough to win in the post season. Unless they decide to trade Bailey and sign Arroyo before teh season starts then we are not trading him at all. Doubt either happens. The pitching is too good to not get to the post season.

Never say never. Small market teams do strange things and with the minor leagues in the shape the’re in , anything is possible. I hope they are in contention . only time will tell.

JIM: Look at the RBI production and runs scored…between the contenders and the pretenders, in past years… You cannot win without scoring runs….. J BRUUUUUUCE cannot carry the whole team on his back….Votto’s doubles are meaningless without guys on in front of him,Speedy Gonzales is not the lead off hitter answer…..when most are 280 and below hitters in the top of the order there IS a problem…..

I will say it NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER without….see my previous posts…..

Good points and I understand what you’re saying . I just hope it all works out.

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