CINCINNATI -- There could be a doozy of a decision looming for the Reds this winter, and it carries large financial ramifications. Will they bring back closer Francisco Cordero?

Cordero is in the final guaranteed year of his four-year, $46 million contract that pays him $12 million this season. There is a $12 million club option for 2012 with a $1 million buyout. The 36-year-old made clear his wishes.

"I would love to be back again," Cordero said on Wednesday. "I'm not afraid to go somewhere else, but this organization, and my teammates, has been real great to me. My family loves it here in Cincinnati. They've got a great ownership and front office. Dusty [Baker] has been like a father to me. I love Dusty as a manager, but more as a person. He's an amazing guy, something you don't find every day in a manager.

"Sometimes it's not right to say stuff like that, but I would even like to retire as a Cincinnati Red. It's not up to me. There are some things we'll have to deal with."

To make that happen, would Cordero be willing to come back at a lower price if the Reds were to extend his stay? That question he wasn't ready to answer.

"That's something they might talk about with my agent, if they decide to do it," Cordero said. "My agent would have to talk about it with me. I would love to be here. I'm sure there is something we could do or work out that would be fair to both sides."

After saving 40 of 48 games in an inconsistent 2010 season, Cordero has been sensational most of '11. He has a 2.34 ERA and 29 saves in 34 chances and 56 games. He has also made significant cuts to his walks and hits totals from a year ago.

With 319 career saves, Cordero is tied for 14th on the all-time list and two shy from tying idol and fellow Dominican native Jose Mesa. If he is not brought back by the Reds, the closer's role would be wide open. It would definitely intensify speculation that lefty Aroldis Chapman could close next season.

Cordero is not letting his unsettled contract situation affect his performance on the mound.

"I don't worry about that," Cordero said. "I'll have to think about it, but it's really not what's on my mind. My mind is on doing my job. I've got to give my best to Cincinnati and be my best."

Mesoraco set for September callup by Reds

CINCINNATI -- One of the Reds' top prospects, catcher Devin Mesoraco, will be among the September callups to be promoted to the big leagues from Triple-A Louisville on Thursday, when rosters are allowed to expand.

The Reds' first-round selection in the 2007 Draft, Mesoraco will be in the Majors for the first time. His arrival has been highly anticipated for much of the season. He had to be added to the 40-man roster to be eligible for the callup.

"Obviously he's a guy we're going to protect," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "It's a chance for him to get some exposure and get used to seeing what it's like in the big leagues. We'll see what he can learn the last month of the season."

Mesoraco, 23, is batting .289 with 15 home runs, 71 RBIs and a .371 on-base percentage in 120 games with Louisville. He emerged as a prospect to watch last year, when he started to take off offensively. The organization named him its 2010 Minor League Player of the Year after he batted .302 with 26 homers at Louisville and Double-A Carolina.

How much playing time Mesoraco will get behind the plate along with veterans Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Hanigan is unclear.

"I think we'll just have to see," Jocketty said. "We're going to try and give him some playing time, obviously."

"Monie and Hany are great catchers," Mesoraco said in July at the All-Star Futures Game in Phoenix. "Somehow, some way it will work out for me at some point. I'm not in any kind of a hurry."

Third baseman Juan Francisco, infielder Chris Valaika, pitchers Carlos Fisher, Jared Burton, Matt Maloney, Jeremy Horst will also make the short trip up Interstate 71. Outfielder Chris Heisey will be activated from the 15-day DL, and starting pitchers Edinson Volquez and Travis Wood are expected to join the Reds after Louisville's season ends on Sept. 5. With the exceptions of Mesoraco and Burton, all of the players have been on the big league roster this season.

Volquez, the Reds' Opening Day starter this season, has been in his second stint with Louisville since early July. He will make one more start at Triple-A before coming up and might get back into the rotation eventually.

"At some point -- we have to try and figure him in some place," Jocketty said. "[Pitching coach] Bryan [Price] is still working on it. He may initially come out of the bullpen. We'll try to get him a start or two."

Reds' Leake 'close' to getting innings capped

CINCINNATI -- In his second professional season, Reds starter Mike Leake has accumulated 152 innings pitched. Leake had 138 1/3 innings for Cincinnati in his 2010 rookie season after jumping from college to the Majors.

The Reds plan to cap the 23-year-old Leake's innings limit before the season ends.

"He's close," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "He might have another start or two. We'll have to talk to [pitching coach] Bryan [Price] about it in a couple of days and figure out what the right number is. It's pretty soon."

In 26 games, including 24 starts Leake is 11-8 with a 4.04 ERA. He has a 3.49 ERA in 17 starts since returning from a brief two-game stint at Triple-A Louisville.

Rolen progressing, but no timetable set

CINCINNATI -- Reds third baseman Scott Rolen is making enough progress that his return could be near. How near remains a mystery.

Rolen will not be going on a rehab assignment before any activation from the disabled list. Triple-A Louisville's season ends on Sept. 5.

"I don't know if he's ready to quite do that yet," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "When he might be ready, their season is over. He's going to come to St. Louis with us."

Rolen had left shoulder surgery on Aug. 3 that removed some bone spurs. He's been hitting and taking ground balls.

"He looks pretty good," Baker said. "I'm sure he doesn't have the strength or the timing he'd like to have, but he looks a lot [more free]."

Hermida claimed off waivers by San Diego

CINCINNATI -- Reds outfielder Jeremy Hermida was claimed off of outright waivers by the Padres on Wednesday. Hermida had been playing at Triple-A Louisville.

Hermida was up with the Reds during the first month of the season and batted .111 (2-for-18) with one home run, three RBIs in 10 games. At Louisville, he batted .319 with 17 homers and 55 RBIs.

"He had a good year. I hate to lose him," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "I talked to him briefly. He said he's got an opportunity. He liked it here. He wanted to get back to the big leagues. I always thought he was a pretty good player."

Hermida coming off the 40-man roster opened a spot for the Reds to add catching prospect Devin Mesoraco for his big league promotion on Thursday.