The 28-year-old third baseman played for the Rockies, Yankees and Angels last season, batting a combined .227 with three homers and 24 RBIs in 64 games.
Colorado took him with the ninth overall pick in the 2004 amateur draft and traded him to the Yankees last May 1. The Angels claimed him off waivers 17 days later. Nelson batted .220 in 33 games for the Angels with three homers and 18 RBIs.
Cincinnati said Monday he will report to big league spring training.
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