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Notes: Krivsky weighing options

Notes: Krivsky weighing options

CINCINNATI -- As free-agent momentum has slowed to a crawl league wide this winter, the Reds could extend their search for a veteran starter beyond the offseason.

Trade activity could pick up during Spring Training camp, when teams will get a better idea of what they have -- and what they still might need.

"There's still a month until spring and then at Spring Training, we'll have our scouts out at games," Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky said on Friday. "Everyone will have a chance to evaluate players."

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The Reds were able to add starter Bronson Arroyo for Wily Mo Pena in a March trade with the Red Sox two years ago. They made no trades last spring.

Krivsky hasn't given up hope about bringing in an additional starter before pitchers and catchers report to camp in Sarasota, Fla., on Feb. 16.

Per usual policy, Krivsky would not divulge which pitchers Cincinnati is targeting.

Several second-tier veterans remain on the free-agent market. The Reds spoke with Brett Tomko's agent earlier this week, but talks were believed to be only preliminary. A local report this week also linked the club with Josh Fogg. Livan Hernandez, Jon Lieber and Kris Benson are among others still available.

"I would call it active," Krivsky said of his talks with various agents." Plenty of phone calls have been made on both sides."

Cincinnati's 40-man roster currently has 39 players, so Krivsky has room to offer a Major League contract to a free-agent pitcher. But he still could elect to sign someone to a Minor League deal with an invite to big league camp.

Orioles lefty Erik Bedard and A's right-hander Joe Blanton remain the two best starters that could be had in a potential trade. Both Baltimore and Oakland are seeking several elite prospects in return and no team has yet to bite. The Reds will not give up top prospect Jay Bruce but would likely have to part with some combination involving Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey or Joey Votto to get a deal done for an elite pitcher.

Hot Stove

"There are always teams weighing what they would give up and get back in a trade vs. signing a free agent without having to give up any players," Krivsky said. "That consideration is always out there."

Right now, the Reds rotation has two established starters in Aaron Harang and Arroyo. Second-year starter Matt Belisle is tentatively listed for the third spot. Bailey, Edinson Volquez, Johnny Cueto and Matt Maloney would compete for the final two openings.

Looking ahead: Arbitration filings are expected to begin on Tuesday, and teams must exchange dollar figures with players by next Friday, Jan. 18. The Reds have two arbitration-eligible players in second baseman Brandon Phillips and Belisle. Krivsky described talks to head off arbitration with both players as "getting started."

Arbitration hearings are scheduled to run from Feb. 1-20. The Reds haven't gone to arbitration since winning a case against Chris Reitsma in 2004.

Mackanin to Yankees: Scout.com reported earlier this week that former Reds interim manager Pete Mackanin accepted a scouting job with the Yankees. Krivsky said Mackanin phoned him to deliver the news personally. Mackanin was passed over for the permanent manager's position when Cincinnati opted for Dusty Baker but was offered a scouting job with the organization.

"He knew he could have come back here -- we had a position for him," Krivsky said. "He got a nice deal with the Yankees to be a special-assignment scout. We appreciate everything he did here."

The Reds posted a 41-39 record last season under Mackanin after he took over for Jerry Narron on July 1.

Bad Boy KC bound: Former Reds radio voice Steve Stewart joined the Royals broadcasting team. Stewart will host the pre- and postgame shows in Kansas City and do play-by-play for selected games.

From 2004-06, Stewart called Reds games on radio with Marty Brennaman. Last season, he often filled in as host for FSN Ohio's Reds pregame coverage and also served as director of the Reds speakers' bureau.

Memory lane: FSN Ohio is slated to air nine classic Reds games from the 1970s, '80s and '90s. Called Reds Classic Rewind, the programs will be hosted by Thom Brennaman and Jeff Brantley.

The first classic game will air on Monday at 8 p.m. ET. It will be from Sept. 11, 1985, vs. the Padres when Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb's all-time record with hit No. 4,192. Other games on the schedule include Game 4 of the 1990 World Series, Tom Seaver's 1978 no-hitter, Tom Browning's 1988 perfect game and three games from the 1975 World Series vs. the Red Sox.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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