Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 12/3/11
Yonder Alonso showed up for a promotion of Redsfest, the team's annual fan expo, noticeably thinner. Alonso vowed to come to spring training lighter and quicker to help with the shift from first base to left field. He hired a personal chef and tailored his workouts toward being an outfielder. The result? He's 18 pounds lighter than the 240 pounds he played at this season. "That's part of being a professional," he said. "You do what you've got to do to play and get ready for the season. I've been doing that." Alonso hit .330.398.545 in 98 at-bats this season. But he is blocked at first base by Joey Votto. Alonso started 14 games in left field. He struggled badly at times. He will never be even an average runner. But the lost weight has to help when playing the outfield. Alonso, of course, has been subject of lots of trade talk. "I take for it for what it is," he said. "Obviously, I'm a Cincinnati Red. I'm not looking forward to playing for another team." NOTES, QUOTES --2B Brandon Phillips and the Reds continue to work on a contract extension. Phillips said he's staying out of it day-to-day. "To tell you the truth, I really don't know right now," he said. "I've been talking to my agent back and forth. I'm going to leave it up (Reds general manager) Walt (Jocketty) and my agent. I want to be here. I've been successful since I've been here. Hopefully we'll get it done. I feel like this is my second home." --RHP Francisco Cordero and the Reds have not had any talks since the club refused Cordero's 12 million option. Cordero is seeing if there is interest from other clubs. --C Ramon Hernandez left via free agency, signing a two-year, 6.4 million deal with Colorado. Because of a change from Type A free status to Type B, the Reds will get a supplemental pick for Hernandez even though they didn't offer him arbitration. --C Devin Mesoraco, the club's top prospect, is virtually guaranteed a roster spot with the departure of Ramon Hernandez. Mesoraco, 23, hit .180 in 50 at-bats in a September call-up. --3B Juan Francisco is having his usual big year in the Dominican Winter League. He was hitting .321 with three home runs and 17 RBI in 34 games. Francisco took a break from winter ball to attend RedsFest. BY THE NUMBERS: 4-10 -- Reds' record when Yonder Alonso started in left field. QUOTE TO NOTE: "I hope so. I want to be here forever like my idol Barry Larkin. It's all the years, it's not about the money. A lot of people worry about age and stuff like that. I'll just go out and bust my butt and try to win. I want to bring a title to this city." -- 2B Brandon Phillips on whether a contract extension with the Reds can be worked out. ROSTER REPORT The Reds did very little last offseason, but that is not likely to be the case this year. The team went from winning the National League Central with a 91-71 record to finishing third with a 79-83 record. DEPARTURES: C Ramon Hernandez (free agent, signed with Rockies), LHP Matt Maloney (waiver claim by Twins). BIGGEST NEEDS: A top-of-the-rotation starter to go with RHP Johnny Cueto. Left field and leadoff are concerns, too, but they can be filled internally. FREE AGENTS: SS Edgar Renteria, LHP Dontrelle Willis, RHP Francisco Cordero. The Reds will likely allow Renteria to walk. They declined a 12 million option on Cordero. ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE: RHPs Homer Bailey, Edinson Volquez, Nick Masset, Jared Burton and Jose Arredondo, LHP Bill Bray, INF Paul Janish. Burton and Janish are the only ones likely to be non-tendered. MEDICAL WATCH: --3B Scott Rolen (left shoulder surgery in August 2011) was limited to 65 games in 2011. He is expected to be ready by spring training. --SS Zack Cozart (Tommy John surgery on left elbow in August 2011) is expected to be ready by spring training.
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