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12/09/09 7:31 PM EST
Jocketty continues to work all angles
No deals imminent as Winter Meetings wind down
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Reds' quest to add an extra infielder took a new turn on Wednesday at the Winter Meetings.
General manager Walt Jocketty has shown interest in free agent Craig Counsell and held talks with the veteran infielder's agent, Barry Meister. He did not elaborate beyond that.
"What we're really focused on is trying to find a hitter and an infielder, preferably a left-handed-hitting infielder that can play second base and shortstop," Jocketty said. "We haven't had a great deal of success. We haven't had any success or really much action."
In 14 big league seasons, Counsell is a .258 career hitter with a .345 on-base percentage. The 39-year-old spent the last three seasons with the Brewers, earning $1 million in 2009. He's also played for Marlins and Diamondbacks and owns two World Series rings.
Last season for Milwaukee, Counsell hit .285 with four home runs, 39 RBIs and a .385 on-base percentage.
After initially showing a bit of interest, the Reds have no plans to talk with infielder Jamey Carroll. It's been determined that Carroll hasn't played shortstop enough the last few years and would not be a fit.
As for arbitration-eligible outfielder Jonny Gomes, there has been no progress in contract talks. When reached by phone at his home in California, Gomes maintained his desire to play for the Reds after a solid first season in Cincinnati.
"I would definitely love to come back," Gomes said. "My thoughts on returning are still awesome. I had a great time in Cincinnati and appreciated being taken in with open arms. The fans, the ballpark and the city are second to none."
Gomes became a first-time father four weeks ago when Zoe Paris was born. He's spent more time with his daughter than worrying about contract talks.
"The agents are lawyers and negotiators. I'm just a baseball player," Gomes said. "They are 100 percent trusted on that side. It's up to them and I let them do it. My friends and family are three times more stressed about it than I am and they're wondering why I'm not stressed."
Inside the Reds' hotel suite on Wednesday, Jocketty was relaxed and laid back. He didn't have the pressure of a near trade or free-agent signing on his mind.
Jocketty was more resigned to the notion that his club would leave Indianapolis on Thursday without making a move.
"I'd tell you to stay close to your phones but there is no reason to," Jocketty told the assembled reporters. "There's really not much going on with the old Redlegs. We talked to a lot of people but we're not making a whole lot of progress. It's been pretty much the same. We've talked to a couple of agents and some clubs. It's been pretty quiet."