The Hot Stove League hasn’t yet burst forth into flame, but there are a few things going on in the Nation:

–The Reds have been interested in obtaining Texas catcher Gerald Laird for a long time. Now, it appears that they are competing with the Tigers, among others, in trade talks with the Rangers for Laird. What does Texas want in return? Pitching, of course:

The Reds’ most appealing young pitcher is reliever Joshua Roenicke, a hard-throwing right-hander who was 6-2 with a 2.82 ERA, 13 saves and 71 strikeouts in 61 innings between Double-A Carolina and Triple-A Louisville this past season. He appeared in five games for the Reds in September, and he is high on the Rangers’ list.

Other Reds pitchers of interest are right-handed starters Daryl Thompson and Homer Bailey, and relievers Carlos Fisher, Pedro Viola and Robert Manuel. Viola is a left-hander who was converted to a starter at the end of this past season, and, in seven starts, was 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA in Double-A. In 33 innings, he gave up 27 hits, nine walks and struck out 30.

Laird is expected to make around $3 million next year, and then could declare for free agency after the 2010 season.

–In the Enquirer, John Erardi has a nice little profile of Joey Votto. Some interesting quotes from Votto, who just seems like a great guy.

Even better, Erardi mentions that he ran into the True Creature, Ron Robinson, and Kal Daniels, as well.

–The Reds are not raising ticket prices in 2008. I’m a little surprised, because I thought they’d raise prices to keep up with the demand from fans excited to see if the Reds can really achieve a ninth straight losing season.

This guy has a very interesting, stats-based look at the Reds 2008 season. It’s worth a quick read.

–Finally, this guy wants to see Adam Dunn sign with the Athletics. There have been recent reports that the Mariners, Yankees, and Braves, among others, are interested in Dunn’s services.