LAS VEGAS --- The Reds appear to be "very, very close" to acquiring catcher Orioles catcher Ramon Hernandez in a trade for utility player Ryan Freel, a source told MLB.com.
The deal would include Minor League prospects Brandon Waring and Justin Turner going to Baltimore, according to a source close to the negotiations, while Cincinnati would reportedly receive $1 million in cash -- pending approval from the Commissioner.
Hernandez is slated to make $8 million in 2009, with a 2010 club option worth $8.5 million with a $1 million buyout.
Freel is scheduled to make $4 million next season.
In 133 games last season, Hernandez batted .257 with 15 home runs and 65 RBIs. Defensively, he stopped only 19.5 percent (24-for-123) of runners stealing.
Freel, who has been with the Reds since 2003, was once an everyday center fielder for the Reds, but missed much of the last two seasons with injuries. Last season in only 48 games, he batted .298 with no homers and 10 RBIs.
Because of a torn right hamstring tendon, Freel did not play a game after June 3 of last season.
Waring, a 22-year-old third baseman, spent all of last season with Class A Dayton, batting .270 with 20 home runs and 71 RBIs in 119 games.
Turner, a 24-year-old second baseman, batted .289 with eight homers and 42 RBIs in 78 games for Double-A Chattanooga, after batting .316 in 33 games for Class A Sarasota.