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12/06/07 2:38 PM ET
Reds conclude quiet Winter Meetings
General manager Krivsky content not to force trades
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky looked like a guy who worked late into the night for four straight days.
Seeking a starting pitcher for his rotation, Krivsky spent much of the annual Winter Meetings hunkered down in a hotel suite talking with teams and agents -- and then talking some more.
As the meetings concluded Thursday morning, all of those talks yielded no acquisitions.
In his two years as Cincinnati's GM, Krivsky has not had to go into the Winter Meetings media work room podium to discuss a major transaction.
"You're not going to do something just to say you did something at the Meetings," Krivsky said. "It's a process and it's a long winter. There's going to be opportunities to do some things. I'm confident about that. I don't feel like it's absolutely something has to get done here. We've had a lot of good discussions and we'll see what happens from here."
The Reds stunned the league last week by signing free agent closer Francisco Cordero to a four-year, $46 million contract. Krivsky wouldn't confirm any of the names he was pursuing this week. Cincinnati was believed to be pursuing a myriad of top-tier and second-tier starters like Erik Bedard, Dan Haren, Tim Lincecum and Mark Prior, among others.
Was Krivsky disappointed the Reds were leaving town without a new pitcher?
"I would have liked to have done something if it had improved the ballclub," he said. "I feel good about our team right now. We still added Cordero. It's a major piece to the team. We still want to solidify the starting rotation and see if we can add an arm or two that can compete for one of those spots. Nothing's changed. We're still looking at pitching."
Krivsky did not rule out that the Reds could still pursue a No. 3-type starter. If unsuccessful, the team could also sign a veteran or two to Minor League deals with an invite to Spring Training.
As of Thursday, the Reds rotation has Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo and Matt Belisle. Coveted prospect Homer Bailey has the inside track on the No. 4 spot, but isn't assured of a big league roster spot.
"I don't think until you've got yourself a full year in the Majors that you're locked in," Krivsky said. "It's all about competing and earning a job. I don't want to be in position where we're just handing out jobs. I want players to come in and earn a job."
Belisle had an inconsistent first season as a starter after converting from a reliever. But Krivsky liked the way Belisle finished the season and was confident he could be a member of the rotation when the season opened.
"It's a long way to Spring Training, but if you're picking the team today, I'm sure [manager] Dusty [Baker] would have him in his rotation," Krivsky said.
On Wednesday, reserve outfielder Buck Coats was traded to the Blue Jays for a player to be named later or cash. Reserve infielder Jorge Cantu was released.
Rule 5 activity:
On Thursday, right-handed pitcher Sergio Valenzuela was taken from the Braves in the Rule 5 Draft. The Reds lost pitcher Carlos Guevara to the Marlins, who then traded him to the Padres.
It remains to be seen. Krivsky felt the week of talks was productive, but we'll see in the coming days and weeks if any of it leads to moves.
The Reds have just four healthy starters with big league experience on the 40-man roster. They need rotation depth and would like to find a quality No. 3 starter that can slot behind Harang and Arroyo.
GM's bottom line:
"I think when you come into the meetings feeling like you have to do something, I don't think it's the right approach" -- Krivsky, on the Reds' lack of moves during the four-day Winter Meetings.