I'm going to steal a lot of this from John Fay since he put up a broad report this evening:
- It sounds like the rumor right now with the most teeth is the one with the Orioles where Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Freel are the principles:
Walt Jocketty did not confirm the Reds are talking to the Baltimore Orioles about catcher Ramon Hernandez but he didn't deny it either.
"We've had conversations with a number of clubs," he said. "I'm not going to mention names. I can't mention names."
Jocketty's facial expression at the mention of Hernandez's name said more than non-denial.
I'm not opposed to trading Freel or acquiring Hernandez, but Hernandez would be awfully expensive for a backup and I'm not convinced that he'd be better than Hanigan behind the plate or at the dish.
- The Reds are also talking with the agents for David Weathers and Cherry Hudson Jr. Having Hairston back makes more sense if Freel is traded. Weathers will be back since he accepted arbitration, but I'm sure the Reds would much rather sign him than go to the arbitration table. Just please don't do more than one guaranteed year.
- They're still talking to Arthur Rhodes:
'We're still talking," Jocketty said. "He hasn't accepted it. . . I'm very happy with the bullpen (since Weathers accepted arbitration). We've got a lot depth from the right side. I'd like add a left-hander. That's where Arthur Rhodes comes in. It would be nice to have aguy with his experience, the quality of guy like that. There are a couple of other people that fit that description."
There are other lefties out there that I'd rather have, but maybe Rhodes could be had for cheap. Last year he signed on a minor league deal and in 2007 he made just $1M. He struck out 40 in 35 innings last season (with 16 walks and *cough* 8 HRs). Not the ideal guy, but might be a decent stopgap from the left side.
- Trades look most likely as Jocketty sums up the free agent market thusly:
Right now, free agents are still pretty expensive. It's possible we may sit for a while before we do anything.
I'm not too bothered by that, though it does make it a pain to run a blog.
- Hal McCoy is floating the name of Miguel Tejada out there. He is determined to get Homer Bailey traded this off-season. Dusty Baker's not in such a hurry for that though:
"He's only 22. He's way ahead of his class. Most of class just coming and going to A ball. His name comes up because he was so highly touted and you don't have to pay him very much. You won't have to pay him much two or three years. But we're not give-way business."
Things have really picked up over the last couple of days. Please keep posting rumors as you see them, but remember, they're just rumors. Let's not lose our heads over them.