The Reds have an interest in bringing back both Arthur Rhodes and Orlando Cabrera, but "the chances of Rhodes returning are far greater than Cabrera," reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Neither player was offered arbitration by the club yesterday, since as GM Walt Jocketty explained to Fay, the Reds didn't want to take the risk that either Rhodes or Cabrera would accept and earn a raise for 2011.
The lack of arbitration offers makes sense, though it means that the Reds will face more competition to re-sign Rhodes. Since the left-hander was a Type A free agent, a team that signed him would've had to give up a draft pick as compensation -- a risky price for a pitcher that turned 41 last month. Now that the Reds have declined to offer arbitration, however, teams are free to sign Rhodes without losing one of their picks.
MLBTR's Tim Dierkes predicted that if Rhodes wasn't offered arbitration, the veteran reliever could command a two-year deal on the open market in spite of his advanced age. Jocketty says that he's "still hopeful of getting something done" with Rhodes and last we heard, Rhodes was also hoping to return to Cincinnati next season.
Cabrera became a Type B free agent when the Reds declined his 2011 option and it appears that his days in Cincinnati could be numbered. Jocketty said talks between Cabrera and the team were left "open," but the shortstop is "looking for more playing time than we can offer." We heard a couple of weeks ago that Cabrera was already drawing some interest from teams, which is no surprise given the slim pickings on the middle infield market this winter. Since the Reds are committed to starting Paul Janish at shortstop next year, Cabrera will likely depart if he can find at least a platoon role with another club.