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07/22/09 10:30 PM ET

Jocketty focused on improving Reds

No deals close, Bakers says club is 'looking'

LOS ANGELES -- The Reds haven't exactly flipped the switch after the All-Star break for a second-half surge, but that hasn't encouraged management to move into selling mode as the Trade Deadline approaches.

"Nothing's changed," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said on Wednesday during batting practice at Dodger Stadium. "We're still trying to improve the club."

The Reds came into Wednesday with a 7-11 record in July and 2-4 after the break. The deadline to make trades without clearing waivers is July 31.

Overall, the Reds came into the night in fifth place at 44-49 and 5 1/2 games behind the first-place Cardinals in the National League Central.

"Even though we've struggled, we're still close," Jocketty said.

While the Reds still believe they are in the race, they're not looking to add rent-a-players.

"We're not looking for any short-term fixes," Jocketty said. "I think if we do anything, it would probably be closer to the deadline, because that's where these things seem to develop. I'm going to try and do something that's going to improve the club for the long haul."

Jocketty would not address whether economics would prevent the Reds from adding any large contracts.

"I'm not going to comment on that," he said. "I'll put it this way. We're trying to improve the club the best we can. I don't want to get stuck talking about contracts."

Reds manager Dusty Baker heard about trades on Wednesday involving Julio Lugo going from the Red Sox to the Cardinals and Adam LaRoche being dealt by the Pirates to Boston. Baker was asked if Jocketty had brought anything to him about possible Reds deals in the works.

"No, we're not close on anything. We're looking," Baker said.

The prevailing speculation is that should the Reds become sellers, that many teams would like to seize the chance to pluck players from the strong bullpen. Veterans like closer Francisco Cordero and setup men David Weathers and Arthur Rhodes reportedly have the interest of the Dodgers, who the Reds have played this week.

The Reds are still seeking a bat to improve the 14th-ranked offense in the 16-team NL.

"We need someone to help pick up the pace and pick up the production," Jocketty said.

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