MLB.com's Mark Sheldon talked to Reds GM Walt Jocketty, who offered up a few hot stove nuggets.
- Jocketty said the Reds' 2010 payroll will be close to last year's ($73MM). The Reds are already around $72MM committed before arbitration raises to Jared Burton, Jonny Gomes, and Nick Masset.
- The Reds did not talk to Gomes' agents last week. It'd be a surprise to me to see him non-tendered after a .267/.338/.541 campaign.
- Asked if players would be moved to meet payroll, Jocketty replied, "I don't want to talk about that. I'm still working on it."
- The Reds would like to improve their offense and possibly add a fifth starter, but Jocketty does not want to trade young players.
- My take: Jocketty has a tall order ahead of him, improving the team despite a complete lack of payroll space. Committing $3MM to Ramon Hernandez was a questionable start. At this point Jocketty can only create flexibility by trading Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, Francisco Cordero, or Arthur Rhodes. ESPN's Buster Olney heard from rival executives that the Reds prefer to trade Harang over Arroyo.