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Izturis trying to make team as backup shortstop


GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- In each of the past two offseasons, the Reds signed a veteran infielder to serve as backup shortstop. Two years ago, Edgar Renteria served that role; last season it was Wilson Valdez. This spring, Cesar Izturis will try to make the team as backup to Zack Cozart after signing a Minor League contract last month.

"It all depends on the dynamics of the team. You don't want to have him around just to have him around," manager Dusty Baker said on Friday. "He has to be part of the team. He has to bring something to the table."

Izturis, 33, briefly played for Baker (22 games) in 2006, with the Cubs.

"He was injured when I had him," Baker said. "I'm curious to see if he's still the same. He could pick it, big time. He had a relative bat, decent speed and knows how to play the game."

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