Reds feel no pressure to make a move

Reds feel no pressure to make a move

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- As the third day of the Winter Meetings wound down, the Reds had irons in several fires for potential moves, but there has yet to be a transaction.

That doesn't bother general manager Dick Williams.

"We definitely don't [feel pressure] to do something," Williams said on Wednesday evening. "We're working on it. We'll hopefully get something done. Between now and [Thursday] morning, we may very well not have anything happen."

Williams believes the dialogue he's had has been fruitful.

"I'm learning something from every interaction with another team," he said. "Not always getting closer to a completed deal, but I'm learning something every time we talk."

The Reds came to town looking to reduce their glut in the middle infield by moving shortstop Zack Cozart and second baseman Brandon Phillips. However, there is little demand for shortstops and second basemen this winter.

Instead the Reds found demand for players with whom they don't really want to part -- center fielder Billy Hamilton and starting pitchers Anthony DeSclafani and Dan Straily.

"We didn't come in here with a goal of getting rid of a bunch of players," Williams said. "We had some depth in the middle infield we were willing to talk about. It's been a few discussions, but it's been pretty quiet. We got hit on some guys we didn't expect to move. We've set a high bar, and we're going to stick to that. I don't think there's been a barrier. There's just nothing happening on those fronts."

Other developments from Wednesday:

• Williams said that if the Reds open the season with Cozart and Phillips while also trying to find playing time for Jose Peraza and Dilson Herrera, financial matters won't play into who takes the field. Phillips, who will be making $14 million and has a no-trade clause, might have to give up some of his playing time.

"I think what's most important is the future of the club, the benefit to the organization," Williams said. "We'll look at it as, we'll play the guys that put us in a chance to compete this year and, more importantly, get better for the future. That's the most important thing, not the guarantees."

• Williams is still making efforts to add a starting pitcher and relievers from the free-agent market.

"We think we've got some opportunity here in the pitching spots, more so in relief probably," said Williams, who is seeking more than one reliever from outside the organization. "I think that would be attractive to some players. But we have to rely more on the opportunity being attractive as opposed to outbidding people."

The Reds have targeted free-agent relievers willing to sign a one-year contract. Manager Bryan Price wouldn't mind having someone with experience at closer in case Raisel Iglesias or Michael Lorenzen are unavailable on a given day.

• Iglesias, Lorenzen, Tony Cingrani and Blake Wood are current members of the bullpen likely locked in. Price feels that another returning reliever, Jumbo Diaz, would have to earn a spot.

"I would love to see Jumbo be an impact pitcher for us," Price said. "But he has got to show similar strides that he's made over the course of the last year. I would not pencil him in as guaranteed to make our club, and I think he has a strong chance."

• Assuming things stay intact, Price is comfortable with the rotation front four of DeSclafani, Homer Bailey, Brandon Finnegan and Straily. He looks forward to such young pitchers as Cody Reed, Robert Stephenson, Amir Garrett or some Double-A prospects competing for the fifth spot.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.