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11/21/12 5:35 PM ET

Reds close to deal with former Giant Burriss

CINCINNATI -- It appears that the Reds are dipping their toes into the free-agent waters for the first time this offseason.

It's nowhere near the deep end of the pool, but MLB.com has learned that the Reds are close to signing infielder Emmanuel Burriss to a Minor League contract. Baseball America was first to report a deal is in place, but the club has yet to make an announcement.

Burriss, 27, was cut loose by the Giants as he was first-year eligible for arbitration this winter. In 60 games last season, he batted .213. In parts of five big league seasons since 2008, he is a .243 lifetime hitter.

Defensively, Burriss has primarily played second base, but can also play shortstop, third base and left field.

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.