Reds lay groundwork for potential deals

Reds lay groundwork for potential deals

DALLAS -- The Reds came and left the Winter Meetings without a trade or signing being made, but alas, there are two more months of offseason that still remain.

And there are potential deals dangling in front of the Reds -- for pitching -- if they are willing to pull the trigger by including the player or players being asked about by the other clubs.

"I think so. You never know how a club will react," Jocketty said. "We still have a number of things we've discussed. A couple of things we could do. We have to decide if it's the right direction to go in."

Jocketty came to Dallas with a lengthy list of things to work on -- starting pitching, a closer, a right-handed hitter, a backup shortstop and to make progress on signing second baseman Brandon Phillips to an extension.

There was a meeting between Jocketty and Phillips' agents on Wednesday night, but the Reds' latest offer was not accepted.

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"I went all right, I guess," Jocketty said. "I don't know if they weren't completely happy. They didn't agree to it."

So while the book is closed on the 2011 Winter Meetings, the chance for the Reds to make upgrades appear wide open.

Deals done: None, except lefty reliever Jeremy Horst was sent outright to Triple-A Louisville, leaving the 40-man roster at 39 players.

Rule 5 activity: None in the Major League phase. In the Minor League phase, the Reds added shortstop Travis Mattair (Phillies) to the Triple-A roster. The organization lost shortstop Alex Buchholz from their Double-A roster to the Rangers.

Goals accomplished: As is often the case with Jocketty since he joined the Reds, it was a relatively quiet week. But he felt progress was made in trade talks to obtain a starting pitcher.

Unfinished business: Plenty. Adding a starting pitcher via trade remains the No. 1 priority, but the Reds still need to find a closer. While Phillips already had his option picked up for 2012, both sides would like to get a deal done before the offseason ends. Further down the list is the desire to add complementary pieces like a right-handed-hitting left fielder and a backup shortstop/infielder.

GM's bottom line: "We've made significant progress in a couple of directions with clubs. I feel confident we'll still get something done this winter." -- Jocketty.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.