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01/07/11 3:50 PM EST
Reds close to signing Series MVP Renteria
Formal agreement won't be made until physical is taken
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- While reports exist that the Reds have an agreement to sign veteran shortstop Edgar Renteria, there is no formal deal in place -- yet. As of Friday morning, there had been no official announcements. According to a source familiar with the situation, the process isn't far enough along that Renteria has come to Cincinnati for a physical, which could take place in the coming week. ESPN Chicago reported Thursday that Renteria agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $3 million if incentives are met. According to ESPN Deportes, the 35-year-old said, "I agreed with the Reds. We can reach the World Series." "We probably won't get anything agreed to until next week," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said on Friday. "We really can't comment on anything until he gets a physical." Assuming a Renteria deal does get done in due time, it would obviously beg the question: What becomes of Paul Janish? Does this mean that for the second year in a row, a starting shortstop job seemingly his over the winter went to a veteran signed later in the offseason? On Monday, when discussions with Renteria were ongoing, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty was asked if he still planned on Janish being his regular shortstop. "Absolutely," Jocketty said on Monday. "Whoever we sign will be more of a complementary player able to play different positions and have experience." However, Renteria was offered $1 million to return to San Francisco as a part-time player and spurned the offer, seeking more money and a chance to get more opportunities to play. He told ESPN Deportes on Friday that would happen in Cincinnati. "I feel happy for the opportunity to keep playing shortstop full-time," Renteria said. "That was the main reason to accept the offer from the Reds."
Later on Friday, a Reds official maintained that Janish is keeping his job with Renteria in the fold."Janish is still the starting shortstop," the official told MLB.com. As far as different positions go, Renteria has played 2,028 Major League games at shortstop. He's logged just three games at other spots -- one at first base and two as the designated hitter. Limited to 72 games last season as a role player, in part because of three trips to the disabled list, Renteria batted .276 with three home runs, 22 RBIs and a .332 OBP. Janish, 28, missed out on being the regular shortstop last February, when Orlando Cabrera was signed as a free agent. When Cabrera's option was not picked up after the 2010 season, the job belonged to Janish under the condition that no one else was brought in. Known for his exemplary defense, Janish had quicksand footing before last season because he struggled to hit. But in 82 games in 2010, the 28-year-old batted a much more respectable .260 with five home runs, 25 RBIs, 10 doubles and a .338 on-base percentage. Having played 15 seasons with the Marlins, Cardinals, Red Sox, Braves, Tigers and Giants, Renteria certainly brings experience. He also played for Jocketty from 1999-2004 in St. Louis and has appeared in three World Series over his career. For the champion Giants last season, he was the World Series Most Valuable Player. Renteria is a five-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove winner and owns three Silver Sluggers. Lifetime, he's batting .287 with a .344 on-base percentage and carries a reputation for being a selfless and beneficial clubhouse presence.