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03/31/09 4:25 PM ET

Reds refute Matthews-for-starter report

Jocketty also says club hasn't discussed Sheffield's availability

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Reds' official response to a report linking them with the Angels in a potential trade for outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. was at first a brief "no comment."

The report stated the two clubs had talked about a swap of Matthews for one of the Reds' starting pitchers, either Aaron Harang or Bronson Arroyo. The match, it was reported, was discussed, because it would be close to an even salary swap. Matthews is owed $33 million over the next three seasons, while Harang is owed $36.2 million and Arroyo $31.5 million over the same timespan.

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty had no real comment about the report, but he then went on to refute the claim.

"A GM called me and said, 'I heard you're close to making a deal,'" Jocketty said. "I said, 'With who?' He said, 'The Angels.' I haven't talked to their GM [Tony Reagins] since the Winter Meetings."

There is another veteran outfielder suddenly available on the market. The Tigers surprisingly released Gary Sheffield and his 499 career home runs on Tuesday, leaving many to ask where the 40-year-old slugger might land next. The freshness of the news hasn't allowed the Reds' brain trust to really consider the possibility of bringing Sheffield into the fold.

"We haven't talked about it yet," Jocketty said. "It just happened."

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