Sunday, July 30, 2006

Krivsky working phones
GM: 'I'm looking to make the team better'

MILWAUKEE - Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky was in the office Saturday, which is what you'd expect from one of the most proactive GMs around.

It's clear Krivsky is trying to get something done before Monday's non-waiver trade deadline.

But as always, Krivsky wouldn't talk specifics or even vague generalities.

"I'm looking to make the team better," he said. "If I can, we'll do something. If I can't, we'll go with what we have, which is pretty good."

The Reds are 10-5 since the All-Star break and maintained a 21/2-game lead in the National League wild-card race.

Though Krivsky won't talk about it, it's pretty clear what the Reds need.

The bullpen's ERA was 3.43 since the break; it was 5.19 before.

The offense has been good enough, despite the losses of Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez.

So the most obvious need is a fifth starter. Joe Mays failed in that role. Justin Germano was making his first start as a Red Saturday night. Brandon Claussen is close to coming off the disabled list, but he was 3-8 with a 6.19 ERA before he was hurt.

Krivsky wouldn't confirm that the Reds are pursuing a starter.

"I don't want other teams to know what we're doing," he said.

The best pitcher out there is Oakland's Barry Zito. Zito (11-7, 3.61 ERA) was the winning pitcher Saturday against Toronto at home. Did the Reds have a scout there?

"I don't know," Krivsky said. "Where's he pitching?"

The other veterans said to be on the block include Philadelphia's Jon Lieber, Washington's Livan Hernandez and Greg Maddux of the Chicago Cubs.

CEO Bob Castellini has said the Reds would increase payroll to make a deal.

Krivsky expects more to happen.

"I think you'll see some things happen around baseball. Whether they will involve the Reds or not, I don't know," he said.