CINCINNATI -- In an expected decision, Reds free-agent reliever Scott Schoeneweis declined the club's offer of arbitration before the deadline on Thursday.
Under new rules in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Schoeneweis and the club can continue to negotiations if they desire. If the left-handed Type-B free agent signs with another club, the Reds would receive a sandwich pick in June's First-Year Player Draft as compensation.
Schoeneweis was 4-2 with a 4.88 ERA in 71 games with Toronto and Cincinnati in 2006, but his best numbers came after an Aug. 16 trade to the Reds.
The owner of a 6.51 ERA in 55 games for the Blue Jays, Schoeneweis helped stabilize the Reds bullpen. The left-hander was 2-0 with a 0.63 ERA and three saves in 16 games.
Following the Reds' Nov. 20 free-agent signing of lefty Mike Stanton, it became more unlikely that Schoeneweis would return. There have been little or no talks in recent weeks between agent Scott Boras and the club.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.