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Nearing free agency, Iglesias open to return

Shortstop on Cincinnati: 'This is where I belong'; Dietrich not clear to return Thursday
@m_sheldon
August 14, 2019

WASHINGTON -- When it comes to offensive and defensive productivity, few teams got more value from a free-agent signing than the Reds got this season from José Iglesias. The veteran shortstop languished on the market all offseason before signing a Minor League contract in February after Spring Training had already

WASHINGTON -- When it comes to offensive and defensive productivity, few teams got more value from a free-agent signing than the Reds got this season from José Iglesias. The veteran shortstop languished on the market all offseason before signing a Minor League contract in February after Spring Training had already opened.

Iglesias, 29, is earning $2.5 million in 2019 after he made the team out of camp, but he can become a free agent again after this season. Back in May, he changed agents and is now represented by Dan Lozano and MVP Sports Group, the same agency that teammate Joey Votto employs.

Would Iglesias and Lozano be open to re-signing with the Reds?

“We haven’t gotten deep into that conversation yet. It’s going to happen soon, I guess,” Iglesias told MLB.com on Wednesday. “Man, I love this group. That’s all I can say. This is where I belong. I don’t know, it’s totally out of my hands after that. I’ve enjoyed every single day I’ve come to the ballpark and leading by example, helping the younger players, and I’m very, very happy to be here.”

If the Reds don’t retain Iglesias, they could turn internally to Freddy Galvis or Jose Peraza. Galvis was claimed off waivers from the Blue Jays on Monday and has a $5.5 million option for 2020 with a $1 million buyout. Peraza is eligible for arbitration for the second time this winter.

The Reds also appear interested in having Iglesias back.

“It’s possible we could have any combination of Peraza, Galvis and Iglesias on the team next year,” president of baseball operations Dick Williams said. “None currently have guaranteed contracts, but we have interest in all of them as well as control over some of them, and we’ll evaluate how the pieces best fit together.”

When Iglesias initially joined the Reds, he was expected to be a role player to back up Peraza at shortstop and Scooter Gennett at second base. But when Gennett suffered a severe groin strain on March 22 and missed three months, manager David Bell pivoted by making Iglesias the starting shortstop and moved Peraza to second base. Ultimately, Peraza became a role player at multiple positions and Gennett was traded to the Giants on July 31. But Iglesias has been a constant at shortstop, starting 101 of his 107 games there this season.

“It was very strange in the beginning, the way I came,” Iglesias said. “But things changed, I took the opportunity and I’m very happy to share each and every day with these guys. It’s home for me.”

As for Galvis -- a regular shortstop for most of his career who will likely play mostly at second base this season -- Iglesias seemed unconcerned about that affecting his situation.

“Who knows? We want to win and compete,” Iglesias said. “Every time we make a move to improve our team, that’s a good thing for us.”

Dietrich not ready to return
Infielder/outfielder Derek Dietrich, who has been on the 10-day injured list since Aug. 5 with left shoulder inflammation, is eligible to return on Thursday. But after meeting with the medical staff, Bell said Dietrich wouldn’t be ready for activation.

There wasn’t a setback for Dietrich, however.

“He might need a few more days, maybe even a week or so,” Bell said. “He might go get some at-bats [on a rehab assignment], too.”

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook.