The Cincinnati Reds have signed infielder Cliff Pennington to a minor league deal and invited him to big league camp:

The Reds signed veteran infielder Cliff Pennington to a Minor League contract on Thursday. Pennington would earn $1.5 million this season if he made the club out of camp.

With the Angels since 2016, Pennington batted .253/.306/.330 with three home runs and 21 RBIs in 87 games last season. He has also played for the A’s, D-backs and Blue Jays and is a career .243/.310/.341 hitter.

But the value Pennington brings is defensive versatility. The 33-year-old can play second base, shortstop and third base.

This is a somewhat significant move for one reason: Pennington — who has played for four different teams in his ten-year career — has played 604 games as a shortstop over his big league career. That’s more MLB games than anyone else in Reds camp has played as a shortstop, including the presumed starter at the position, Jose Peraza.

So you have to believe that Pennington will have every chance to make the roster. The only other names that are in the competition to back up Peraza are another non-roster invitee, Phil Gosselin, and 25-year-old Alex Blandino, who has yet to make his major league debut.

[Doug Gray and I discussed the backup shortstop question on the most recent episode of Redleg Nation Radio.]

On the other hand, C. Trent Rosecrans notes over at The Athletic that super prospect Nick Senzel will be playing shortstop at Reds camp. (Go subscribe to The Athletic. It’s worth the money.)

I can’t express how happy this makes me. What if Senzel can handle the position defensively? The Reds will have a superstar on their hands.

Another transaction of note today:

Jeff Manship was a non-roster invitee to camp on a minor league deal. He failed his physical.