Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Weathers in dark about 2007 return

MIAMI - David Weathers would like to come back.

"But I've always said: You can't sign yourself," Weathers said.

The right-hander, who turned 37 Monday, is a free agent after the season.

The Reds have a long list of potential free agents: right-handers Weathers, Ryan Franklin and Jason Johnson; outfielder Todd Hollandsworth; shortstop Royce Clayton; and left-handers Scott Schoeneweis and Kent Mercker.

General manager Wayne Krivsky is deliberately vague when talking about free agents. He quietly re-signed Scott Hatteberg, Javier Valentin and Juan Castro.

What about Weathers?

"We'll see," he said. "I've talked to a few guys. We got something done with Hatteberg, Valentin and Castro. I don't want to go down the list, one by one. You can't keep everybody. It takes two people to get a deal done. There has to be mutual interest."

Weathers said he hasn't heard anything from the Reds.

"As a player, when you get to the point where there's six days left, you say, 'Why not look at free agency?' " Weathers said. "Once the season is over, if you're healthy, it's tempting to see what's out there. I feel like someone would have approached us if they wanted us back."

Weathers, all in all, has pitched very well this year. He has converted nine of his last 10 save opportunities. He's 4-4 with a 3.59 ERA and 12 saves. He worked two innings Tuesday in the Reds' 5-3 win, allowing one unearned run.

"I had three or four outings in the middle of June that really skewed a lot of things," he said. "I was having a really good year until then."

Actually, two outings were ERA killers for Weathers. He gave up seven earned runs over those outings, in which he retired only one batter. In his other 63 appearances entering Tuesday, his ERA was 2.82.

"I'd love to come back," he said. "If it doesn't happen, I'm sure there's a job out there. It's been fun here."

MINOR STARS: The Reds placed three players on Baseball America's Minor League 14-man All-Star Team. That's more than any other organization in Baseball. Chattanooga right-hander Homer Bailey and first baseman Joey Votto made it, along with Dayton outfielder Jay Bruce.

SHORT ON SHORT: Brandon Phillips was back at second base again Tuesday night.

Phillips made two starts at shortstop Friday and Saturday.

He has started the last three games at second, and the experiment is not over.

"We're just trying to put Rich (Aurilia) and Royce (Clayton) out there," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "Phillips has looked fine."

Will we see Phillips start more games at shortstop before the season's over? "You might," Narron said. "You might not."

DUNN FOR FUN: The Dolphins Stadium scoreboard picture of Adam Dunn features a handlebar mustache, presumably part of the stadium's old-time theme.

"I'm going to grow one," Dunn said. "If you're going to play like an ass, you might as well look like one."

JUNIOR IN? The Reds are hopeful that Ken Griffey Jr. will play in the field before the season is over.

"It depends on how he feels," Narron said, "if he can run around out there."

Griffey came off the bench to hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning of the Reds' 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs Monday.