A lot of people around the Reds thought the desire to have a true backup shortstop on the roster was a Dusty Baker thing.

Not so. The Reds cleared up one of the big roster questions Wednesday: Ramon Santiago has made the club.

Santiago, the first non-roster players added, gives that Reds a true backup shortstop. That's the same role Wilson Valdez and Cesar Izturis filled. And Santiago is similar to Valdez and Izturis in that he's slick with the glove, but offensively he isn't going to offer a lot.

Santiago hit .224 in 205 at-bats with Detroit last year. He hit .206 the year before.

The Reds are weak at shortstop in the upper minor leagues. That played into the decision. Kristopher Negron is the only other true short in camp other than starter Zack Cozart.

"The question is: Do you have some in your system in Triple-A who could come up and do that same job?" Price said. "There are going to be more questions with the guys in the system that are unanswered than we're going to have with Ramon.

"We love the way that Negron has played this spring. We know that Argenis Diaz is a very nice defensive player. But what also know that we've got a player who has been on winning teams, that's been a defensive performer, that handles the bat well situationally, who is not going to get a ton of playing time. That's a special talent in and of itself to be able to perform when you don't get a chance to play on a regular basis."

The Reds had to put Santiago on the roster by Wednesday or he could have opted out, thus the move, but the roster is not completely set.