CINCINNATI -- The Reds made a flurry of roster moves on Monday, most notably picking up the 2012 option on second baseman Brandon Phillips and declining closer Francisco Cordero's option. Phillips' option was worth $12 million. So was Cordero's, but he will instead get a stipulated $1 million buyout and become a free agent. "We'll still continue to talk to both players about long-term deals," said Reds general manager Walt Jocketty. "We didn't want to pick up Cordero for the amount of money it would be."
Exercising Phillips' option has been expected since the season ended. The 30-year-old batted .300 with 18 home runs and 82 RBIs, leading National League second basemen in hitting, slugging, on-base percentage, runs, hits and doubles, and ranked second in RBIs. Cincinnati shifted Phillips to the leadoff spot on Aug. 17, and he batted .350 over his final 38 games. Jocketty indicated that talks were going "OK," with Phillips' agents. "We really haven't broken any new ground yet," he said. Cordero had a strong season to conclude a four-year, $46 million contract with Cincinnati. He was 5-3 with a 2.45 ERA and converted 37 saves in 43 chances -- his 327 career saves rank 12th all-time. After the All-Star break, Cordero converted 20 of his 21 save opportunities. "We told them he should go out and check the market and see," Jocketty said. "We can talk again." Cordero is the Reds' fifth free-agent player, joining catcher Ramon Hernandez, left-hander Dontrelle Willis and shortstop Edgar Renteria, who entered the market over the weekend. Outfielder Fred Lewis became a free agent in early October after he finished the season in Louisville. While Lewis isn't likely to return, there was a possibility for Hernandez, Willis and Renteria to come back. "We're going to try to talk to each one," Jocketty said. "With Edgar, we'll wait and see how he responds from surgery." Jocketty revealed that Renteria had minor surgery after the season to clean out his left shoulder. The Reds also outrighted relievers Jared Burton and Daryl Thompson to Triple-A Louisville, which removed them from the 40-man roster. Left-handed pitcher Matt Maloney was claimed off waivers by the Twins after the Reds also attempted to outright him. "We have several players we need to protect on the roster this winter," Jocketty said. Jocketty left the door open for Burton and Thompson to return as non-roster invites to Spring Training. The club also selected the contract of outfielder Denis Phipps, who split this season between Double-A Carolina and Louisville.