Originally written on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 10/15/14
The Reds don't figure to be players in the free agent market this offseason, considering that their payroll is likely to go up only slightly from last year's 80.8 million. With nearly 50 million committed to seven players under contract, the club simply can't pursue top-end free agents. For example, the Reds did not make early calls to the agents for Jose Reyes or C.J. Wilson. "Oh, God, no," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "We'd love to, but we won't be doing anything like that. We've got to be more creative." The Reds hope to be active on the trade front. "We're looking more at that," Jocketty said. Jocketty was hoping to do more legwork at the general managers' meetings in Milwaukee. "We've made some phone calls touching base," he said. "We'll follow those up. Things heat up more at the winter meetings. That's how it usually works." The winter meetings are scheduled for Dec. 5-8 in Dallas. NOTES, QUOTES --RHP Francisco Cordero's 12 million option was turned down by the Reds, but the club has not looked at the other free agent closers available. "We figure the other guys would be just as expensive as Cordero," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. --LHP Aroldis Chapman is back throwing after shoulder stiffness forced him to skip a start in the Arizona Fall League. But the Reds scrapped plans for Chapman to throw in winter ball in Puerto Rico. He'll remain in Arizona on strength-and-conditioning program. --2B Brandon Phillips and the Reds have not discussed a long-term deal recently. "We probably won't for a while," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. The Reds didn't sign Bronson Arroyo to an extension until Dec. 3 of last year. --SS Billy Hamilton was hitting only .211 after 19 at-bats in the Puerto Rican Winter League. But he led the league with five stolen bases. --OF Denis Phipps, who was added to the 40-man roster after the season, was hitting .323.417.484 after 19 games in the Dominican Winter League. BY THE NUMBERS: -- Juan Francisco had eight walks after 85 plate appearances in the Dominican Winter League. He walked 11 times in 329 PAs at Triple-A this year. QUOTE TO NOTE: "There's no injury. We just want to make sure he's 100 percent. He had the shoulder issue during the season." -- Reds general manager Walt Jocketty on why Aroldis Chapman is not going to pitch in winter ball. 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. DEPARTURE: 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: C Ramon Hernandez, SS Edgar Renteria, LHP Dontrelle Willis, RHP Francisco Cordero. The Reds will likely allow Hernandez and Renteria to walk. The Reds 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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