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12/06/11 7:42 PM EST
Reds still looking for pitching, but no deals yet
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
DALLAS -- Sometimes checking off the Winter Meetings wish list is easier said than done. Reds general manager Walt Jocketty came to the Hilton Anatole hotel this week with designs on trying to trade for a starting pitcher -- the team's top priority. During a Tuesday morning meeting of GMs to discuss the finer points of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, Jocketty learned he wasn't the only one. "I got a better sense after that a lot of clubs are looking for the same thing we're looking for -- starting pitching," Jocketty said.
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There were also hopes of speaking to the agents for second baseman Brandon Phillips about a contract extension. Thus far, there have been no developments."They have quite a few free agents. I've seen them, but I haven't talked to them," Jocketty said. There was a Tuesday morning rumor that the Reds and Rockies were discussing a potential trade that would send Edinson Volquez to Colorado for closer Huston Street. Jocketty does not discuss other team's players because of tampering rules, but it's a deal that doesn't make too much sense at this point. Street is due to make $7.5 million in 2012, and has a $9 million mutual option for 2013, with a $500 thousand buyout, while Volquez is arbitration eligible after getting $1.625 million last season. Unless the Rockies kicked in some cash for the deal, the Reds could probably find a cheaper closer and not give up Volquez in the process. "I think there are enough closer options, whether it's through a trade or one of these free agents falls to us," Jocketty said. "Demands drop, which could happen." The Reds haven't ruled out the suggestion that Volquez himself could be a potential closer option. Although he displayed command issues in a disappointing 2011, he can throw 97 mph and has a strong variety of pitches. "We've talked about it, kicked it around," Jocketty said. "It could be an alternative. The other thing we have discussed is internal candidates. He could possibly be one." There is a chance the Reds could take a look at free-agent reliever Joel Zumaya, who is trying to bounce back from two right elbow surgeries. Zumaya, who was once a hard-throwing setup man for the Tigers, is scheduled to throw for interested clubs' scouts on Dec. 14 in Houston. "We have not discussed that yet. He's been hurt so much," Jocketty said. "We may send someone. We've been following everyone that's been throwing this offseason." Further down the list of priorities is finding a veteran shortstop/utility infielder for the bench. But there's been no progress. "They're hard to find, the right guy," Jocketty said. The Reds won't be turning to veteran Edgar Renteria again, it appears. Renteria is a free agent after one lackluster season in Cincinnati "They contacted me yesterday," Jocketty said. "Right now, I said 'probably not.' He did a nice job for us. I'd like to find somebody that's a little more versatile for [manager] Dusty [Baker]." Meanwhile, the shopping continues. "Pretty slow," Jocketty said of the action on Tuesday. "We had a lot of meetings and discussions yesterday, but very little follow up today from clubs."