Jocketty insists Reds are not trying to trade Bailey
GM says club aiming to sign righty, who's eligible for free agency after '14
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- There was speculation entering the Winter Meetings about how available Reds pitcher Homer Bailey might be for a trade.
The answer has proved to be not very available at all.
A tweet from a Wall Street Journal reporter on Tuesday had the Yankees asking the Reds about Bailey. Reds general manager Walt Jocketty made it clear it wasn't happening.
"I told them we're not trading him," Jocketty said. "We're trying to sign him."
As a power-armed right-hander coming off of back-to-back 200-inning seasons, the 27-year-old Bailey would be a valuable trade chip -- especially as the Reds seek some offensive help.
After he made $5.3 million in 2013, Bailey is third-year arbitration eligible and able to become a free agent after the 2014 season.
Bailey is now represented by the Excel Sports Management headed by agent Casey Close. He had previously used the Hendricks Brothers. Last season, he was 11-12 with a 3.49 ERA in 32 starts and 209 innings. He had 54 walks and 199 strikeouts.
Even with him entering his walk year, the Reds do not feel compelled to deal Bailey for players. There could be as much or more value in having him part of their rotation to contend for the postseason next season and getting the Draft pick compensation should Bailey depart as a free agent.
Reds meet with Arroyo's agent
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- One pitcher not originally expected to be back in the Reds' rotation for 2014 was free agent Bronson Arroyo. Yet there were developments on Tuesday that showed an Arroyo return was at least possible.
The Reds had Arroyo's agent, Terry Bross, in their suite on Tuesday afternoon. There had been no talks since the regular season ended.
"We wanted to let some time pass. He wanted to be able to check the market," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "We told him we wanted to meet with him again just to see where they're at and to see if we could still do something. I don't know if we'll do anything or not, but we'll at least meet with him because he's been with us so long and has been a big part of our success. We thought it was important to at least talk to him again before anything else happens."
Other teams that have been linked to Arroyo this week are the Phillies, Angels, Twins and Pirates.
Jocketty and the Reds previously had thought Arroyo, who turns 37 in February, would be too pricey to bring back since he was seeking a two or three-year contract. Cincinnati also has a much cheaper option in young lefty Tony Cingrani to replace Arroyo.
Jocketty and manager Bryan Price joked it meant the Reds could have a seven-man rotation.
"If we're able to sign him, it would give us a little more flexibility with the rotation, I guess," Jocketty said.
Arroyo was 14-12 with a 3.79 ERA in 32 starts and 202 innings last season and has reached 200 innings in eight of his last nine years.
Club seeking switch-hitting utility infielder
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Reds have an offseason goal to find a backup shortstop to Zack Cozart for their bench. More specifically, general manager Walt Jocketty would like to land a switch-hitting utility infielder that can play shortstop.
"We're hoping to. A couple of things we've looked at," Jocketty said on Tuesday. "It's something we hope to do maybe this week. If not, we'll keep working."
There is quite a limited market for this type of player on the free-agent market. The only three that stand out are former Twins and Orioles infielder Alexi Casilla and Ramon Santiago, who spent the last 10 seasons with the Tigers, and Elliot Johnson, formerly of the Braves, Royals and Rays.
Odds and ends
There had been reports early Tuesday that the Rockies were pursuing a trade for Reds lefty reliever Sean Marshall. Jocketty declined to discuss any trade rumors, but noted that Marshall - owed $12 million over the next two years -- was not a redundancy with the return of free-agent lefty reliever Manny Parra. Apparently, talks were halted because of Colorado's concerns about Marshall's medical history. He was limited to 16 games in 2013 because of shoulder injuries.