Reds hold on to Cairo with two-year deal

Reds hold on to Cairo with two-year deal

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Reds have made it clear in recent seasons that they highly value character people and veteran players in their young clubhouse.

To that end, the club re-signed free-agent utility infielder Miguel Cairo to a two-year contract on Wednesday, the next-to-last day of the Winter Meetings. Cairo will make $1 million in 2011 and 2012.

The deal was reached with Cairo on Tuesday night. At 36 years old and after 15 seasons in the Majors, Cairo has earned his first multiyear contract.

"Miguel played a big part in the success of our club this year," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "He had a very good year. He's a veteran player who keeps himself in great shape and is always ready to play and fills in a lot of ways. He's instrumental in the makeup of the clubhouse.

"He wanted a two-year deal. We talked about it. The price was right, so we did it."

Across 91 games in 2010 -- his first season with the Reds -- Cairo batted .290 with four home runs and 28 RBIs. He made 38 starts at four positions and was integral in backing up at the corner-infield spots when Joey Votto and Scott Rolen missed time with injuries.

In late May, during a six-game stretch at first base when Votto was out due to a stiff neck, Cairo batted .429 (12-for-28) with two homers.

Cairo earned a spot with the Reds out of Spring Training last season after signing a Minor League contract. A veteran of nine clubs, he possesses postseason experience that the Reds considered an additional asset, as he's appeared in 26 playoff games. He has also played six positions over his long career, including every infield spot and both corner-outfield spots.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Mark My Word and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.