At Tuesday's deadline to make offers to their players eligible for arbitration, the Reds did not offer contracts to right-handed pitchers Ramon Ortiz and Joe Valentine.
Now a free agent able to sign anywhere, the decision on Ortiz was not considered a surprise. He made $3.55 million in 2005 during his lone season in Cincinnati after being acquired in a trade with the Angels last December and subsequently struggled.
Ortiz, who posted double-digit victories with Anaheim from 2001-03, was one of several pitching staff additions in 2005 but ultimately didn't bolster a rotation that ranked last in the National League in ERA. The 32-year-old battled an early groin injury and went 9-11 with a 5.36 ERA in 30 starts. His 34 home runs allowed ranked fourth highest in the NL.
Cincinnati did not pick up Ortiz's $4.55 million option in October and he would have been third-year arbitration eligible.
Valentine, who turns 26 on Saturday, split the past three seasons between the Reds and Triple-A Louisville. The reliever was 0-1 with an 8.16 ERA in 16 appearances with Cincinnati last season and 0-7 with a 5.70 ERA in 49 games at Louisville. He also is now a free agent.
The Reds tendered offers to seven players still eligible for arbitration, including outfielder/first baseman Adam Dunn, pitcher Aaron Harang, outfielders Austin Kearns and Wily Mo Pena, catchers Jason LaRue and Javier Valentin and shortstop Felipe Lopez. Utility player Ryan Freel avoided the arbitration process Monday by signing a two-year, $3 million contract with Cincinnati.
Reds invite two:
Cincinnati invited pitchers Homer Bailey and Josh Hall to Major League Spring Training as non-roster players Tuesday.
Bailey, the Reds' first-round draft pick in 2004, went 8-4 with a 4.43 ERA in 28 games, including 21 starts, with low Class A Dayton. The 19-year-old right-hander struck out 125 in 103 2/3 innings.
Hall, 25, made 25 starts at Class A Sarasota and Double-A Chattanooga last season and made five starts and one relief appearance for the Reds in 2003.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.