The baseball winter meetings are taking place this week in Phoenix. With all 30 general managers in attendance, it’s a great time for unfounded rumors and rank speculation, as well as solid reporting, concerning the Reds. Highlights from the last 24 hours:

Player Health

Walt Jocketty says the reports on the health of Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Sean Marshall are good (Rosecrans).

Front Office

The Reds are close to announcing Kevin Towers will join the front office (Rosecrans).

Trading a Starting Pitcher

Numerous reports from baseball executives are circulating that the Reds are willing to discuss (Passan) and listening to offers (Heyman) on their starting pitchers. But Walt Jocketty says plainly that Johnny Cueto is as close as there is (Rosecrans) to untouchable. Reds would have to be absolutely overwhelmed (Heyman) to deal Cueto. The feeling is Cueto is likely to stay (Passan) with the Reds. Trading Cueto would be a big step back (Rosenthal). This is an indication the Reds will look to extend Cueto (Bowden).

Latos, Leake and Simon, for various reasons, wouldn’t bring anything near what Cueto would (Heyman). The Reds are willing to trade Mike Leake, Mat Latos or Alfredo Simon because with Tony Cingrani, Robert Stephenson, Michael Lorenzen and Ben Lively, the organization has several young, cheap arms (Passan). [I’d add Rasial Iglesias to that list.].

Left Fielder

The Reds will need to spend on offense (Rosenthal) if they want to compete next season.

Walt Jocketty acknowledges that Nori Aoki and Michael Morse are on the list of possible LF, but notes the Reds aren’t limited to them. Offense is first priority. Trades are in play.(Rosecrans)

The Phillies are in sell mode. Outfielder Marlon Byrd might be a match with Cincinnati. (Salisbury)

Wick Terrell at Red Reporter adds Alejandro De Aza to the list of outfielders who might interest the Reds. De Aza may be the odd man out for the Orioles if they can resign Nick Markakis.

Should the Reds look further than AAA Louisville for their next LF? That’s the question Doug Gray asks at his great site,