The Cincinnati Reds signed veteran infielder and three-time stolen base champion Dee Strange-Gordon to a minor league contract, the team announced Monday.
The deal will be worth $1 million in 2021 if he makes the team out of spring training, per an MLB.com report.
Strange-Gordon, who has played more at second base in the middle infield, is expected to compete for time at shortstop as the Reds look at fill a glaring offseason hole.
“We’ve got a handful of guys who are competing for the shortstop position at this point,” Reds general manager Nick Krall said. “Dee hasn’t really played there consistently since 2013, so he’s going to come in and compete for a utility role. He’ll get some shots at shortstop to see where he is there, but he’s probably going to play all over the field, as well.”
After whiffing at landing a bigger name at shortstop in free agency, the Reds have internal options of prospect Jose Garcia, utility players Kyle Farmer and Alex Blandino, plus Rule 5 pickup Kyle Holder heading into spring training.
Strange-Gordon, who turns 33 in April, comes off a somewhat disappointing three-season stint in Seattle after the Mariners declined the option on his contract earlier this offseason. The team tried to convert him to center field in 2018, but mixed him mostly between second base and outfield over the past two seasons.
Regardless, his production dwindled after being traded to Seattle in December 2017. In his three seasons with the Mariners, he posted a .266/.293/.343 line, bottoming out with a .200 batting average with just one extra-base hit in 82 plate appearances in the shortened 2020 season.
The 10-year veteran played his first seven years with the Los Angeles Dodgers (2011-14) and Miami Marlins (2015-17). He flourished in the National League, hitting over .300 three times while also topping the NL in steals on three occasions. He has stolen 58 or more bases three times, with a career-best 64 with the Dodgers in 2014, when he also topped the league with 12 triples.
He enjoyed his career year in 2015 in his Marlins debut after being part of a seven-player trade in December 2014. Strange-Gordon won the NL batting title by hitting a career-high .333 in 2015 while also topping the league in hits (205) and steals (58).
For his career, the two-time All-Star has recorded a .286/.319/.360 line with 18 home runs and 234 RBIs in 1,002 games. His 333 career stolen bases leads all active major leaguers.
–Field Level Media