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12/05/08 2:40 PM EST

Deal for Weathers not close

Reliever 'has options' as deadline to accept arbitration approaches

CINCINNATI -- The Reds' hopes to bring reliever David Weathers back in the fold before the Winter Meetings may not be realized.

Weathers and his agent, Dan Horwits, are negotiating with several teams, including the Reds. They have a midnight ET deadline looming on Sunday to accept or decline Cincinnati's arbitration offer.

"I wouldn't say anything is close," Weathers said on Friday from his home in Tennessee. "We're talking to several teams right now. There's a lot on the table. We're looking to see which [offer] is the best one. We have a lot of things on our plate."

Back in mid-November, Weathers' relationship with the Reds was frosty and he said that he didn't expect to return to Cincinnati because he hadn't received an offer during the exclusive negotiating period despite the club's interest.

Things have warmed up since.

"They called and wanted to negotiate," Weathers said. "We said some stuff on our side -- they did on theirs. It's your average negotiations. We're closer, but we're not that close."

A primary setup man for the Reds last season, the 39-year-old Weathers was 4-6 with a 3.25 ERA in 72 relief appearances last season while making $2.75 million.

Hot Stove
Reds general manager Walt Jocketty already re-signed one free-agent reliever in Mike Lincoln, who inked a two-year, $4 million deal on Thursday. Jocketty has talked with Horwits multiple times this week and wanted to get deals done with Weathers and utility player Jerry Hairston Jr. so the Reds would know where they stood heading into next week's Winter Meetings at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.

Don't expect that to happen, however.

"Not at the pace we're going, I wouldn't say so," Weathers said.

Weathers declined to name the other teams that have interest in his services.

"I'll just say that I have options," he said.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.