Leaner Alonso shrugs off trade rumblings

Leaner Alonso shrugs off trade rumblings

CINCINNATI -- As the Reds seek to improve their starting pitching, much speculation has involved whether the club will part with prospect and top trade chip Yonder Alonso.

"It doesn't bother me at all. It's rumors," Alonso said Friday during Redsfest. "I'll take it for what it is. I don't think about it too much or read it. One day you're in Toronto and the other you're in Tampa. Obviously right now I am in Cincinnati and this is where I want to be. I want to be play here. I have a lot of friends here and I don't want to leave at all."

As of Friday, there were still 78 days until Reds Spring Training opens but Alonso was already looking lean and ready to get started. The 24-year-old, who was directed to shed some weight as he prepared to compete for the Reds' left-field spot, has dropped about 18 pounds.

"I've been working really hard," said Alonso, who hired a workout trainer and a chef to cook healthy meals. "Ever since I went home, I started doing my thing. So far, it's been working out. I start on Monday with my outfield stuff. I started my hitting last week. It's going to be fun."

Alonso also recovered quickly from arthroscopic surgery to clean out his knee and healed from a sore ankle that cut his 2011 season a little short in late September.

In 47 games after his July callup to the big leagues, Alonso batted .330 with five home runs and 15 RBIs. He also had to adjust to playing left field, which wasn't always smooth, but he showed improvement as he got more comfortable.