The Reds seem certain to decline their $8.5MM club option on catcher Ramon Hernandez for 2010 and buy the 11-year veteran out for $1MM. The only question now is whether or not Cincinnati will part ways with Hernandez or whether they'll bring him back at a more club-friendly price.
Cincinnati GM Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he had met with Hernandez's agent, and gave a very neutral view of the negotiations between the team and the player: "We’ve made some progress. I don’t know if we’re close. But we’ll try to work something out.” As MLB.com's Mark Sheldon noted, the Reds could also decline Hernandez's option but offer him arbitration, thus putting themselves in line for a first-round sandwich pick if another team signed Hernandez, a Type B free agent.
Hernandez hit .258/.336/.362 in 331 plate appearances last season, appearing in 55 games behind the plate and 30 games at first base. He played in just four games after July 16 due to arthroscopic knee surgery.