CINCINNATI — Reds president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty isn’t done dealing for the offseason.
But don’t expect anything soon.
“We’re still trying,” Jocketty said. “There’s just nothing hot right now. We’re trying to improve the club for this year and the future — more so for the future.”
The Reds tried to trade Brandon Phillips to the Washington Nationals just before Christmas but Phillips rejected the deal through his 5/10 rights (10-year veteran, five with the same team). Jocketty didn’t rule out dealing Phillips, but it’s unlikely at this point.
“Probably,” Jocketty said. “I haven’t talked to him. The Washington thing was done through his agent.”
Some other offseason updates:
> Center fielder Billy Hamilton has been throwing, Jocketty said. Hamilton had shoulder surgery in September. He resumed most baseball activities in December, but he wasn’t cleared to throw until Jan. 1.
“I talked to (strength and conditioning coach) Sean Marohn,” Jocketty said. “He said Billy is working out every day and doing well. He’s working with Billy Hatcher. He’s doing his baseball activities.”
> The Reds haven’t been in contact with Bronson Arroyo since before Christmas.
“We’ll probably re-engage this week,” Jocketty said. “A lot depends on how he is physically.”
Arroyo hasn’t pitched since having Tommy John surgery midway through the 2014 season. He said he’s fully healthy and was going to start his normal offseason program Dec. 1. Arroyo is a free agent. He told WCPO in November he wanted to return to the Reds and was willing to accept a contract for a low base salary with incentives for starts.
> Jocketty said right now J.J. Hoover is the team’s closer. The Reds traded closer Aroldis Chapman to the New York Yankees.
“I’ll meet with (manager Bryan Price) when I get to Arizona and talk about it,” Jocketty said. “But right now, it would be J.J.”
Jocketty said the club isn’t looking at bringing in a veteran free agent closer.
“Probably not,” he said. “We don’t see anyone out there who fits.”