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12/07/11 7:55 PM EST
Jocketty frustrated by lack of action for Reds
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
DALLAS -- It hasn't been a good feeling this week at the Winter Meetings for Reds general manager Walt Jocketty. There has been a large amount of effort exerted to make things happen and nothing to show for it. "Very frustrating," Jocketty said on Wednesday in the Reds' suite at the Hilton Anatole. "It's that way every year. You plan. We've been working on stuff since the Trade Deadline. You start looking at things, you start putting things together and your plan. You start trying to work on it. You start putting it into play, and you're not able to do anything." Obviously, it takes two to tango when it comes to having a match for trades.
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"A lot of times when you start talking to clubs, their ideas are a lot different than ours, and vice versa," Jocketty said.Jocketty's No. 1 goal this offseason has been to add a starting pitcher via a trade. It was something he hoped to accomplish during the Winter Meetings. Hope remains that something can be done before the meetings conclude on Thursday. "Nothing is close," Jocketty said. "Another club approached us today about something that we're considering." One team that Cincinnati has been in talks with is the Rays, who have been looking to move some starting pitchers to add offense. "I have talked to them several times," Jocketty said. "I don't think we're close to anything." The top Rays pitcher available is James Shields, but Tampa Bay seems willing to move Jeff Niemann or Wade Davis. While Shields would qualify as the No. 2 starter the Reds are looking for after posting a 2.82 ERA during an All-Star 2011 season, neither Davis nor Niemann have numbers that fit that category. Jocketty would not divulge which players were discussed. A closer is also on the wish list, and one that was linked to the Reds on Tuesday -- Huston Street -- was traded from the Rockies to the Padres for a player to be named. Multiple reports out of Denver have Colorado still interested in acquiring Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez. Further down the list of priorities has been a search for a right-handed-hitting left fielder. There has been thought given to adding free agent Cody Ross, who had a very brief stint with the Reds -- two games -- in 2006. Ross batted .240 last season for the Giants, but could be a good platoon player since he's a lifetime .282 hitter against left-handed pitching. Current right-handed-hitting Reds left fielder Chris Heisey has struggled against lefties, batting .180 against them in his two seasons. "I saw his agent yesterday in the lobby," Jocketty said of Ross. "It's an interesting name. He said he'd be interested in coming back, probably on a short-term thing. I told him we'd discuss it and we did. But we have some other things to do first before we start looking at extra guys." Consideration could also be given to former Reds player Dmitri Young, who is trying to make a comeback at age 38. Young has dropped a lot of weight and has been working the lobby trying to find a team to give him an opportunity. Meanwhile, among other clubs in the National League Central, the Pirates have been the most active. Pittsburgh signed free-agent lefty starter Erik Bedard to a one-year deal worth $4.5 million. Former Pirates outfielder Nate McLouth returned on a one-year contract after a stint with the Braves. Lots of eyes are on the World Series champion Cardinals, who have been locked in negotiations to re-sign superstar Albert Pujols. As of early Wednesday evening, they appeared to be in the lead to retain Pujols, while the Marlins were reportedly told they were out. The Reds, as of Wednesday afternoon, had yet to hold talks with Brandon Phillips' agents about an extension. With their roster currently at 39 players, Cincinnati could be active in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. Jocketty gave indication he is trying to do a deal so the Reds can move up to get a higher pick. "We're trying to get into a better position to do that, yes," Jocketty said of the Rule 5 Draft.