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MLB Free Agents: Reds Show Interest in Francisco Cordero; Red Sox Turn Up Heat

20 Dec

According to MLB Trade Rumors.com, Cincinnati Reds GM Walt Jocketty has confirmed reopening talks with Coco, though he claims the two sides are not even close.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, meanwhile, reports the Boston Red Sox have also “increased dialogue with Francisco Cordero.”

With the Reds currently in need of a stopper, there are just a handful of options remaining on the market, including Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge, both last seen wearing a Philadelphia Phillies uniform.

So what would it mean if the Red Sox would sign Coco? It would mean that the Reds are looking at Madson, who may be too expensive, and Lidge, who may be too injury-prone. Of course the Reds could try to handle it in-house with Aroldis Chapman, Bill Bray or Nick Masset.

You know you have “skinny pennies” when your best hope is Coco Cordero. Not that he is a terrible closer, just that he causes way too much anxiety to deal with.

“First, we’ll address the bullpen a little bit,” Jocketty said. “Once I get pitching done and know what we have left to spend, we’ll know more about left field.”

After taking the lion’s share of the crop to the market last weekend, he has little to play with in the way of prospects. It is difficult to imagine picking up another viable starter without spending an arm and a leg. Famous Red killer Roy Oswalt is looking for a home, but you know Cincinnati is too short in resources to ink that deal.

After he finishes with the mound conundrum, Jocketty will focus his attention to left field. The “cream” of that crop has already been sifted. Josh Willingham signed with the Twins; Jason Kubel left the Twins for the Diamondbacks; and another ex-twin, Michael Cuddyer went for big money to the Colorado Rockies.

The best of the residue at that position would appear to be ex-Red Cody Ross, whom Jocketty is in negotiations with, Rick Ankiel, Ryan Ludwick and Pat Burrell.

Of that group I would certainly prefer Ross. He is not great but is a good fielder, a decent .260-plus BA and 20-25 HR potential, making him qualified to take the everyday job. Last season the Reds used left fielders by committee, including Jonny Gomes, Chris Heisey, Fred Lewis, Dave Sappelt and Yonder Alonso.

Reds fans seem to be still swooning over the Padres trade for pitcher Mat Latos. He does give the Reds a decent rotation, even if it took half the orchard to get him. If Latos was the tallest tree in the pitching forest, the MLB is certainly reeling.

Hopefully Jocketty can overcome his late start and sign a reliever and an outfielder to help the club be competitive in a watered-down Central Division in 2012.

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