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Despite talk, Reds stand pat at Winter Meetings

Phillips, Choo and Arroyo the focus without any completed deals

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As expected, the 2013 Winter Meetings for the Reds were heavy on rumor and speculation and light on transactions.

And by light, that meant none.

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty felt nothing was close to being done as his club prepared to depart.

"Close to going home, that's about it," Jocketty said.

Speculation about second baseman Brandon Phillips possibly being traded did not subside this week. A potential deal that would have sent Phillips to the Yankees for leadoff hitter/center fielder Brett Gardner was reportedly nixed by New York on Wednesday. Phillips has the Yankees among the clubs that are part of his limited no-trade clause.

"Other people are coming to us," Jocketty said about the genesis of Phillips' talks.

If Phillips isn't moved, Jocketty did not believe it would create an awkward situation between his All-Star second baseman and the club next season.

"I had a good talk with him a couple of weeks ago and explained to him what the situation was," Jocketty said. "There were a lot of rumors at that time. I think he'll be relieved [that nothing happened]."

Not making a trade in general -- or even coming close to one -- left Jocketty a little frustrated. He was hoping to upgrade the club offensively.

"We'll just keep trying," Jocketty said. "We've made deals after the meetings before. I still like our club, but there are some things we'd like to do to improve a little bit."

The days after the meetings have been active for the Reds in recent history. Last year, the Reds acquired Shin-Soo Choo from the Indians in a three-way trade and two years ago, starting pitcher Mat Latos was acquired from the Padres for four players.

Jocketty conceded that the groundwork for another big type of trade hasn't been achieved during these Winter Meetings.

The Reds did hold talks this week with the agents for Choo and free agent Bronson Arroyo. It remained unlikely that either player would return to Cincinnati.

Here's a look at the week that was for the Reds at the Winter Meetings:

Deals done: None.

Rule 5 activity: None in the Major League Phase. In the Triple-A Phase, the Reds took right-handed pitcher Mike O'Brien from the Yankees' Double-A Trenton affiliate. Cincinnati lost Theodis Bowe, an outfielder at Double-A Pensacola, to the Nationals.

Goals accomplished: Hard to say. The Reds held plenty of talks with clubs and agents, which is always a goal of the Winter Meetings, but there did not appear to be much traction towards executing a deal.

Unfinished business: Plenty. The Reds would like to improve their offense and add bench help in the form of an utility infielder who can play shortstop.

GM's bottom line: "We'd still like to find another hitter. The choices aren't too great right now." -- Jocketty

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon.

Cincinnati Reds, Bronson Arroyo, Shin-Soo Choo, Mikey O'Brien, Brandon Phillips