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Miguel Jesús Cairo (born May 4, 1974 in Anzoátegui State, Venezuela), nicknamed Egypt is a Major League Baseball utility player with the Cincinnati Reds. He has mostly played second base during his career, but has played every position in baseball except catcher and pitcher.
Cairo was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1990. In November 1995, the Dodgers traded Cairo with Willis Otañez to the Seattle Mariners for Mike Blowers, who then traded Cairo with Bill Risley to the Toronto Blue Jays for Edwin Hurtado and Paul Menhart in December 1995.
Cairo made his major league debut with the Toronto Blue Jays on April 17, 1996 as the starting 2nd baseman wearing #3. During the offseason, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs.
Cairo signed with the Oakland Athletics during the 2000-01 offseason, but in March 2001 he was traded to the Cubs for Eric Hinske. In August 2001, the St. Louis Cardinals claimed Cairo on waivers from the Cubs.
Cairo signed with the Yankees during the 2003-04 offseason.
In 2004, Cairo won the second base job with the New York Yankees after starting the year in a platoon with Enrique Wilson. Cairo led the league in percentage of productive outs in 2005 for players with a minimum of 40 at-bats. Cairo recorded 17 productive outs in 32 productive out situations, for a PO% of 0.531. Cairo had the highest winning percentage of team wins when he played in a game of any player in the majors in 2005 (for players with over 100 games played). However, the Yankees declined to offer him a contract for 2005 and signed Tony Womack as their new second baseman. Cairo was signed by the New York Mets as a free agent before the 2005 season, only to return to the Yankees as a free agent in the 2006 season.
On August 7, 2007, the Yankees designated Cairo for assignment in order to make room on the 40-man roster for Jason Giambi. He was released on August 15. On August 19, 2007, the St. Louis Cardinals signed Cairo to a minor league contract, with him reporting to Triple-A Memphis on August 22. On September 1, 2007, the Cardinals activated him and brought him up to start at second base in a game against the Cincinnati Reds. He became a free agent after the season.
On January 8, 2008, he signed a one-year contract with the Seattle Mariners.
In the early season, Cairo was seldom used losing his playing time to teammate Willie Bloomquist and Greg Norton. Norton was soon traded to the Atlanta Braves and with outfield trouble, the Mariners started a platoon with Bloomquist and Jeremy Reed in center field this allowed Cairo to be a back-up for struggling first baseman Richie Sexson.
On July 10, the Mariners released Sexson and Cairo assumed the role of full-time first basemen for a few days until Bryan LaHair was finished ailing a sore toe. For the rest of the season, Cairo played most of his time at first base in a platoon with left-handed hitting LaHair. He got the rare start at the other infield positions when the starters had an off day.
On February 15, 2009, Cairo signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Philadelphia Phillies. On May 19, 2009, the Phillies outrighted Cairo to the AAA Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.
Cairo was sent back up to the Phillies on August 23 after they placed Greg Dobbs on the 15 day DL. He returned to the utility infield position, and was retained by the club through the remainder of the regular season. His performance during this stint, including several key hits, led to his inclusion in the division-winning team's post-season roster.
On January 27. 2010, Cairo signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds. On April 2, 2010, Cairo made the Opening Day roster.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
- Baseball Library (article)
- NYY Fans article - Miguel Cairo silences his critics
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