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02/22/11 4:20 PM EST

Cairo enjoying rare security with Reds

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Miguel Cairo is 36 years old with 15 seasons of Major League service time logged with nine different clubs.

Yet, for the first time in his career, Cairo is playing under a multiyear contract. The Reds inked the utility infielder to a two-year, $2 million deal in December.

"I've been working real hard my whole career," Cairo said on Tuesday. "I was really happy to see that happen."

Last spring, Cairo was in camp on a Minor League deal and one of only two non-roster players to make the club. He batted .290 in 91 games with four home runs and 28 RBIs.

Cairo's value came in his versatility. He made 38 starts at four different positions, including 26 at third base for Scott Rolen and nine at first base for Joe Votto. More importantly, he was effective in those starts, which often came when one of the corner infielders was injured.

Fans started grumbling about Cairo after he batted .111 for April. But he hit .372 in May and was steady defensively. The Reds always valued his veteran presence around a mostly young clubhouse.

"I was just doing my job. My job was if someone gets hurt, be ready," Cairo said. "In the beginning, it was a little slow. I know I can hit. I know I can play. I always believe in myself. I have to believe in myself to do my job."

Cairo spent his offseason at home in Safety Harbor, Fla., which is near Tampa. He worked out at the same place as reliever Nick Masset. Reds manager Dusty Baker recently mentioned he will be enouraging veterans to program their camps so that they start the regular season ready.

"Right now, my body feels really good. Hopefully every day I will feel way better," Cairo said. "I'm in good shape. It's something I work really hard at during the offseason -- to come to Spring Training ready to rumble."

Arredondo feeling strong at Reds camp

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reliever Jose Arredondo might be more familiar with the Reds' spring complex than any other pitcher. Arredondo had to sit out all of the 2010 season to rehab from Tommy John surgery and spent plenty of time rehabbing in Goodyear.

"It was terrible. I was here the whole year," Arredondo said on Tuesday.

Through a couple of bullpen sessions this spring, the right-handed Arredondo has had no issues and is feeling and throwing 100 percent.

"It's going pretty good," Arredondo said.

The 26-year-old Arredondo, who last pitched in the Majors for the Angels in 2009, is trying to earn one of the few vacancies in the Reds' bullpen this spring.

Baker looks to keep Rolen rolling

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Manager Dusty Baker and Scott Rolen are still trying to work out the best plan to get the third baseman ready for the season without overtaxing his almost 36-year-old body. There's talk of possibly playing Rolen in every other game this spring so he's fresher.

"We're still in the process of trying to find exactly what's right," Baker said. "I still think he needs closer to 50 [at-bats] to get ready, especially hitting behind Joey [Votto] early in the year. If guys aren't ready to hit behind Joey, then they're not going to throw Joey much to hit."

Rolen had exactly 50 spring at-bats last year. He started out very strong but faded in the second half because of injuries to his back, neck and hamstring.

"He's trying to find a way and we're trying to find a way to keep him not hurting," Baker said. "As you get older, that's the thing. If you have things wrong with you, that's the thing you get tired of people don't understand. I played hurt for my last 10 years. Sometimes, it gets to the point where you're tired of pain. He feels good right now."

Worth noting

The Reds did not hold live batting practice with their pitchers and hitters on Tuesday, as originally announced. That is now scheduled for Wednesday. On Tuesday, some of the workouts consisted of drills for fielding bunts and regular batting practice.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.