Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Reds Update from the Winter Meetings

So far, the Reds have done nothing more than take Jeremy Horst off the 40-man roster and become part of several trade rumors at Major League Baseball's winter meetings in Dallas. Speaking of those rumors, here is the latest update as the Reds continue their search for a legitimate top end starter, a right handed bat, and a closer.

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer says that he thinks the Rays' James Shields is still at the top of the Reds' wish list with Gio Gonzalez of the A's not far behind, and Jair Jurrjens of the Braves, just a distant backup plan.

Yesterday, the first rumor that came out was that the Reds and Rockies were perhaps talking a deal that would involve Huston Street and Edinson Volquez, but many people wrote it off because Street will be owed at least $8MM and that's seems too much for the Reds to spend on a closer. Then, the rumor was all but squashed when the Rockies acquired Kevin Slowey from the Twins.

Another closer option, or at least another bullpen arm came off the board yesterday when veteran Frank Francisco signed a two year deal with the Mets. It's looking more and more like the Reds will find their closer in-house and I'm okay with that.

However the Reds are interested in bringing in a different veteran pitcher with late innings experience, in the form of Octavio Dotel, but they'll have to battle a few teams for his services.

The Reds have also expressed interest in free agent Josh Willingham who hit .246 with 29 HR and 98 RBIs for the A's last season in a park that's not hitter-friendly. If signed, he would play left field, where he is considered an above average defender and he would also fill the role of a big right handed bat. If Alonso does get traded during these winter meetings, I'd look for the Reds to push hard for Willingham. I thought he was a trade candidate last season near the deadline.

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