Isringhausen agrees to Minor League deal

Isringhausen agrees to Minor League deal

CINCINNATI -- Two days after they watched free-agent right-hander Jason Isringhausen throw in a bullpen session at Great American Ball Park, the Reds agreed to terms with the reliever on a Minor League contract Thursday.

Isringhausen will meet Triple-A Louisville at Gwinnett and officially sign his contract. It will likely take him at least a couple of weeks for him to get big league-ready. The 37-year-old hasn't pitched in the Majors since June 2009 for the Rays before his right elbow blew out and required Tommy John surgery.

"I thought he threw very well," Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Isringhausen's session. "I didn't say it that day because I didn't want too many people on the outside to know. I was very pleasantly surprised."

If Isringhausen comes up, he'd likely be used in a late-inning or setup capacity. The Reds have been seeking bullpen help, but have come up empty on the trade market to this point. Last week, the club signed Russ Springer and sent him to Louisville.

With 293 career saves, Isringhausen is fourth among active pitchers -- one spot ahead of Cincinnati closer Francisco Cordero. Isringhausen pitched for Reds general manager Walt Jocketty and notched 217 saves from 2002-08, when both were with the Cardinals.

"He's looking strong," Baker said. "He's been working out. A lot of times, guys come back stronger because he had time to let his body heal naturally. When you're rehabbing, you're pressing the envelope a little bit trying to speed up the healing process. There's no better healer than natural time."