Cincinnati Reds sign Fred Lewis

Updated: January 11, 2011, 6:32 PM ET news services

CINCINNATI -- The Reds signed left-handed-hitting outfielder Fred Lewis to a one-year deal Monday, giving them a candidate to bat leadoff.

The team also officially announced its one-year deal with World Series MVP Edgar Renteria, who decided to play one more year in a reduced role, in part because he's familiar with general manager Walt Jocketty from their days in St. Louis.


Renteria will back up Paul Janish at shortstop. The defending NL Central champions needed another shortstop to replace Orlando Cabrera, who left after the Reds declined to pick up his $4 million option.

Lewis batted .262 with Toronto last season, leading the club with 17 steals. His 31 doubles were third-most by an AL leadoff hitter.

"There were multiple offers, but none presented the fit Cincinnati did -- from the manager on down," Lewis' agent, Scott Leventhal, told "His ability to lead off is something everybody is excited about. He's able to do whatever [manager] Dusty Baker needs."

Baker used Cabrera, Brandon Phillips and Drew Stubbs in the leadoff spot last season. Lewis will get a shot at the job.

"Lewis is a guy who has experience leading off and has success at that," Jocketty said.

Renteria, who will turn 35 during the season, became a free agent after the Giants declined his $9.5 million contract option. His tiebreaking three-run homer off Cliff Lee helped the Giants win the World Series.

Jocketty called Janish and reassured him that he'll come to spring training as the starter. Janish was Cabrera's backup last season, batting .260 in 82 games with five homers, 25 RBIs and one stolen base.

Renteria played in a career-low 72 games last season because of a strained groin that landed him on the disabled list twice and a strained left biceps that sidelined him for most of August.

"We checked him out pretty thoroughly today," Jocketty said. "He's healthy. That's another reason why he's not really looked into playing every day. We think we'll be able to protect him from injury."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.