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12/09/08 10:25 PM EST
Reds not done retooling for '09
Right-handed power bat remains priority for Jocketty
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
LAS VEGAS -- Tuesday's trade acquisition of catcher Ramon Hernandez was just one check off Reds general manager Walt Jocketty's to-do list. There's much left to do at the Winter Meetings, and beyond.
"We've got to find some outfielders. We've got to work on that," Jocketty said. "We're still looking for that right-handed hitter. I don't know if we'll find it or not right now. We'd like to look at some things to help strengthen the bench."
To get Hernandez from the Orioles, the Reds sent infielder/outfielder Ryan Freel and two Minor Leaguers to Baltimore. Cincinnati has only Jay Bruce, Chris Dickerson and Norris Hopper as outfielders on its 40-man roster.
Jocketty's top priority remains landing a right-handed hitter, preferably an outfielder.
"We'll look at a lot of different things. We're looking at trades, too," he said. "But if we can find free agents where we wouldn't have to give up anymore young players, that would be good, too."
The free-agent market has mostly been at a standstill this offseason and that hasn't improved this week at the Bellagio. While prices could come down on several outfielders, Jocketty seemed to rule out any thoughts of bringing back Adam Dunn and hasn't spoken to the former Reds outfielder.
"I'd prefer to find a right-handed hitter," Jocketty said.
Jocketty spoke with free-agent infielder/outfielder Jerry Hairston Jr. on Monday night but had no negotiations on Tuesday. Hairston is in Las Vegas for the meetings.
In other developments, MLB.com learned that free-agent reliever Arthur Rhodes has narrowed his list of teams down to three, including the Reds. A decision could be made soon.
"We're still talking to him," Jocketty said. "We had a meeting with him [Monday] night and we'll see what happens in the next day or two."
Reliever David Weathers' agent revealed on Tuesday why the free agent decided to accept arbitration to return to the Reds earlier this week.
"David decided that there were only a few places where he was going to be happy," agent Dan Horwits said. "Cincinnati was always first and foremost and he's always loved playing there."
Family considerations also played a part as Weathers' home in Loretto, Tenn., is about a five-hour drive from Cincinnati.
The hope is to get Weathers signed before an arbitration hearing, where the salary for his one-year contract would be determined.
"It's always best to avoid arbitration. Walt and I will work towards a resolution," Horwits said.
It was also learned on Tuesday that reliever Mike Lincoln agreed to donate one percent of the salary from his new two-year, $4 million contract to the Reds Community Fund. That would amount to $40,000 over two years. Lincoln was re-signed last week.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.