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Astros invite veteran C. Izturis to Spring Training

HOUSTON -- The Astros added some depth to their infield mix Monday by agreeing with Cesar Izturis to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

Izturis, 33, has played with nine teams in his 13-year career, spending 2013 with the Cincinnati Reds. He appeared in 63 games and hit .209 in 129 at-bats while primarily splitting time between second base and shortstop.

The switch-hitter won a Gold Glove Award with the Dodgers in 2004 and made his only All-Star appearance a year later. He's a career .254 hitter with 17 homers and 312 RBIs in 1,310 games. In addition to adding some depth, Izturis gives the Astros a veteran to work with starting second baseman Jose Altuve, who's also from Venezuela, and shortstop Jonathan Villar.

The Astros also have Venezuelan infielder Marwin Gonzalez coming back this year, and he's capable of playing shortstop and second base. Izturis has spent most of his career at shortstop, but he also has played second, third and made a few appearances at first.

Last season, Izturis was the only Spring Training non-roster invitee to earn a spot on the Reds' Opening Day roster and made 25 starts, with 10 coming at second and 15 at shortstop.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

Houston Astros, Cesar Izturis