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Veteran Izturis could play short, second or third


GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- In his 12 big league seasons with eight clubs, Cesar Izturis amassed 1,120 games at shortstop and was a Gold Glove winner in 2004 and an All-Star in 2005 with the Dodgers. In Reds camp as a non-roster player, Izturis realizes that he'll need to show that he can play second base and third base, too.

"However they need me, I will be there," Izturis said Friday. "They know I can play shortstop. I've played there my whole career. But I can play third base and second base."

Izturis, 33, has logged 52 career games at third base and 48 at second base. He's been taking groundballs this spring at both spots. Reds manager Dusty Baker, who had Izturis briefly with the Cubs in 2006, likes having an experienced shortstop that is versatile. Izturis will be a backup to regular shortstop Zack Cozart if he makes the team.

The Reds signed Izturis to a Minor League contract in January that will pay him $800,000, if he is in the Majors. He can be released on June 1 if he is not on the big league roster, but is pleased with the opportunity he has with Cincinnati.

"It's good, especially with this group of people here," Izturis said. "They are young guys who want to win. They proved last year who they are and what their talent is. I'm excited to be part of the team."

Last season with the Brewers and Nationals, Izturis batted .241 in 62 games. Washington claimed him off of waivers on Aug. 6, but released him on Aug. 23 after only five games.

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