CHICAGO -- The early groundwork toward a contract extension for Reds manager Dusty Baker appears under way.

"I've been approached in the last couple days," Baker said on Friday. "There are some things starting."

Baker's three-year contract with Cincinnati expires after the season. After two losing seasons in 2008-09, the Reds have been at or near the top of the National League Central race most of this year.

"We'll probably get into that over the next couple of weeks," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said regarding contract talks with Baker.

Jocketty was asked if he'd like to get something done with Baker before the end of the season.

"I hope so. It's hard to determine," Jocketty said.

Springer remains sore, unavailable

CHICAGO -- The Reds' bullpen was shorthanded by one pitcher on Friday with reliever Russ Springer unavailable because of a sore hip flexor muscle. If the injury is deemed serious, it could open the door for the club to beckon top prospect Aroldis Chapman.

Springer was expected to see the doctor and undergo an MRI test later in the day to determine his prognosis. The 41-year-old veteran, who was promoted on Monday from Triple-A Louisville, was hurt while pitching on Wednesday at Pittsburgh.

"It's still stiff," Springer said. "It's discouraging because my arm feels great. Hopefully, it's just a little hiccup. It was a long road to get back to the big leagues, and two outings in, it grabbed me like that."

Reds manager Dusty Baker wasn't sure if Springer would have to go on the disabled list.

"If it is, we just have to make the adjustment," Baker said. "We have some people to make the adjustment with. We can't afford to go short."

One of those adjustments could be the left-handed Chapman, who has allowed only one unearned run in his past 11 1/3 innings of relief for Louisville. Right-hander Jared Burton has also pitched well.

"Maybe," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty responded when asked if Chapman could get called up. "There are two or three guys down there pitching well. We just have to decide, looking at the matchups and who we're playing, which guy is available and the best matchup."

Dickerson could be ready to rejoin Reds

CHICAGO -- The Reds have recalled outfielder Chris Dickerson from his rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Louisville but haven't officially activated him. Dickerson has been on the disabled list since April 30 after he had surgeries on his right wrist and hand.

A decision on activating Dickerson was delayed because of a death in his family. He went to California for a funeral.

In 13 games with Louisville, Dickerson is batting .442 (19-for-43) with three homers, seven RBIs, nine walks and six steals.

"We can either bring him back here or option him [to Louisville]," general manager Walt Jocketty said.

One possible scenario to make room for Dickerson would be to send down center fielder Drew Stubbs, who hasn't started the past five games including Friday. Stubbs entered the day in a 1-for-37 slump.

The Reds potentially cleared space on the 40-man roster for Dickerson, who is currently on the 60-day DL, on Friday when the Indians claimed utility player Drew Sutton off of waivers. Sutton, who has had multiple big league stints with Cincinnati, was batting .262 in 84 games this season with Louisville.

No movement on Grandal-Reds deal

CHICAGO -- It does not appear that the Reds and first-round Draft pick Yasmani Grandal are close to signing a contract. Grandal, a catcher from the Univ. of Miami, was the 12th overall selection in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

The Reds have until 11:59 p.m. ET on Aug. 16 to sign Grandal or lose their rights.

"It'll probably go down to the wire," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "I probably won't talk to them until next week, most likely."

The club's previous two first-round picks, Yonder Alonso and Mike Leake, both had their negotiations go into the deadline day before agreeing to terms.

"It's not a problem, Jocketty said. "It's part of the process. You get used to it."

Worth noting

The Reds have set their rotation for the upcoming showdown vs. the Cardinals at Great American Ball Park. Mike Leake will start Monday against Chris Carpenter. Johnny Cueto will start Tuesday against Jaime Garcia, and Bronson Arroyo is scheduled to oppose Adam Wainwright on Wednesday. ... In his third rehab start, and his second with Triple-A Louisville, Homer Bailey pitched seven scoreless innings Thursday with six hits, no walks and nine strikeouts against Norfolk. Bailey threw 102 pitches, 66 for strikes.