01/03/2008 3:30 PM ET
Arms race: Rotation spots up for grabs
GM Krivsky discusses possibilities for Reds' starting five
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- With seven weeks remaining until the Reds open Spring Training on Feb. 16, this is how their rotation looks:
There are two established starting pitchers in ace Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo. Next is Matt Belisle, who has just one year under his belt as a big league starter. The rest are promising prospects Homer Bailey and newest acquisition Edinson Volquez have a little Major League experience. Johnny Cueto and Matt Maloney have none.
That's five young arms competing for the last three spots.
Last month, Cincinnati was one of several teams seeking a potential deal for Orioles lefty Erik Bedard. Since acquiring the 24-year-old Volquez from the Rangers in exchange for Josh Hamilton on Dec. 21, the Bedard Hot Stove ember involving the Reds appears to have been all but extinguished. Baltimore was believed to be seeking a cadre of elite prospects in return, including Minor League Player of the Year Jay Bruce, Joey Votto and Bailey.
"We feel good about adding Volquez to compete for a job," Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky said on Thursday. "But it's always ongoing to look to add more depth and competition."
As a policy, Krivsky does not speak in specifics about potential trades or signings.
Adding another experienced pitcher to the mix could bolster the starting five and also push the younger guys in camp. Krivsky plans on having some lesser known non-roster invites add to the numbers, but didn't rule out doing something a little more dynamic.
"As far as the recognizable names on the free-agent market, we're still looking at that," Krivsky said. "There's still a possibility of a trade to bring someone that has more name recognition."
Most of the interesting names remaining on the free-agent market are a few years past their best seasons, but could offer benefits in the middle or back of the rotation. Livan Hernandez or Brett Tomko would fall under that category. Others are coming off significant injuries like Jon Lieber, Kris Benson or Bartolo Colon.
As far as re-ignited efforts for a top-tier starting pitcher, don't count on it. But don't fully count it out either.
"It's always a possibility," Krivsky said. "You just have to weigh everything. During the holidays, it died down. But I'm sure calls will pick up again as teams fine tune their rosters going into Spring Training. We'll have to wait and see."