Reds still searching LF market

The latest free agent outfielder to sign a contract — Torii Hunter — is having a press conference in Minneapolis as I type this blog entry. Hunter, 39, was signed to a one-year, $10.5 million contract to return to the Twins. I wrote last week that Hunter would have been a good fit for the Reds. Even though Cincinnati was not in the running, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty apparently was thinking the same thing.

“We had a lot of interest in Hunter,” Jocketty said on Wednesday. “He would have been a kind of dual role for us – leadership in the clubhouse and his abilities on the field. That was one of our targeted guys.”

The search will continue for a starting left fielder.

“We’re still hopeful of getting something done,” Jocketty said.

To this point, there hasn’t been progress towards signing two other target free agents, Nori Aoki and Michael Morse.

“Nothing yet,” Jocketty said.

Tuesday’s trade of Chris Heisey to the Dodgers added to glut of outfielders in Chavez Ravine.

“I think they see a role for him there, eventually,” Jocketty said. “We wanted to make sure we got some quality in return. We picked a good one, we think, with [pitcher Matt] Magill.”

Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford have been viewed as tradeable for Los Angeles. Don’t expect the Heisey deal to be a precursor to another trade between the Reds and Dodgers. Kemp is owed $107 million over the next five years. Crawford will make $62.25 million over the next three years and Ethier is due has $56 million over the next three seasons.

“That’s too expensive,” Jocketty said.

— Mark Sheldon

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