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Reds sign infielder Hannahan to two-year deal

CINCINNATI -- The Reds may not have made any news during last week's Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., but it's been a busy week for them since.

The Reds announced the signing of veteran free-agent infielder Jack Hannahan to a two-year contract through 2014 on Thursday at Great American Ball Park. The deal includes a club option for a third year.

Hannahan, 32, is a left-handed hitter who has played all four infield positions in his 505 Major League games, primarily at third base.

Hannahan spent the last two seasons with Cleveland, hitting .247 with 32 doubles, 12 home runs and 69 RBIs. The Reds and Indians share a Spring Training facility at Goodyear, Ariz.

"It's not that first left, it's that second left coming in," said Hannahan. "I might have that blinker on a little early, but hopefully I'll remember to take that second one."

Barring any surprise moves, this completes a week in which Reds president of baseball operations and general manager Walt Jocketty has been able to re-sign left fielder Ryan Ludwick to a free-agent deal, trade for center fielder and leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo and infielder Jason Donald, and now sign Hannahan.

"I think we've got a lot of depth at every position and every category," said Jocketty. "The everyday lineup, for the bench, the bullpen and the starting rotation, I think the competition in Spring Training is healthy and good to have. We'll still get ways to try and improve the club, but if we don't we'll be fine with what we have."

Hannahan figures to back up Todd Frazier at third base. He gives the Reds another left-handed bat off the bench, something manager Dusty Baker didn't have at his disposal much of last season. Xavier Paul was called up from Triple-A Louisville on July 18 and appeared in 55 games the rest of the regular season, hitting .314 with two home runs and seven RBIs. Switch-hitter Dioner Navarro played in 24 games after being called up on two different occasions in August but signed with the Chicago Cubs as a free agent.

"I've always felt like the National League is a perfect fit for a guy like me who can play a bunch of different positions, a left-handed hitter coming off the bench," said Hannahan. "I'm excited to turn that page from the American League to the National League."

Hannahan hit .244 in 105 games with Cleveland last season. He dealt with a back injury that limited his playing time, but Jocketty was secure enough in his belief of Hannahan to give him two years on the deal plus the option.

Hannahan's two seasons in Cleveland give him a firsthand perspective on Choo, who will be asked to play center field on an everyday basis for the first time in his career.

"Choo's fast and his first couple of steps are good," said Hannahan. "Choo has always been up for anything and has always been a team guy. He's going to do what's best for the team, and I think he's going to be fine roaming around in center field."

Cincinnati Reds, Jack Hannahan