CINCINNATI -- The Reds are still awaiting word from free-agent third baseman Scott Rolen about whether he intends to play in 2013.
Reds first baseman Joey Votto is a good friend of Rolen's and the two have spoken. However, Votto did not know what Rolen's plans were.
"We never speak about baseball when we talk," Votto said during Redsfest on Friday. "He should do whatever he wants to do that's best for him and his family. I love playing with him. I learned a lot from him certainly. I have nothing but respect for him. I'm sure he will make the right decision. I got everything I could ask for from playing beside him. I learned a tremendous amount.
"The two or three years with him were not wasted. He changed my path as a player. He was a shining example of the type of player I want to be because of how quiet he was and how consistently respected he was throughout baseball."
At the moment, the Reds are proceeding with Todd Frazier slated to be their third baseman next season.
Ludwick, Reds working on two-year deal
CINCINNATI -- Multiple reports swirled Friday evening that the Reds and free-agent left fielder Ryan Ludwick had reached a deal on a new contract.
Two baseball sources told MLB.com that a deal was close but terms had not been finalized. The Reds have been talking to Ludwick's agent, Dan Horwits, this week about a two-year contract offer.
Reds general manager Walt Jocketty had little to say during Redsfest.
"I expect something to be resolved the first of next week," Jocketty said.
It's Jocketty's policy not to reveal a deal is done until a player's physical is passed.
Ludwick signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal with Cincinnati as a free agent last winter and batted .275 with 26 home runs and 80 RBIs. After the season, the 34-year-old declined a $5 million mutual option and hit the open market again.
In other Hot Stove news relating to the Reds, Jocketty has had no talks with agent Scott Boras about free-agent leadoff hitter and center fielder Michael Bourn. It's not outrageous to think Bourn's options are drying up now that the Twins have traded two leadoff types to teams with needs -- Denard Span to the Nationals and Ben Revere to the Phillies. Free agents Shane Victorino and Angel Pagan also came off of the market this week.
"He would have to really fall," Jocketty said of Bourn. "I don't think so."
As for utility infielder Jack Hannahan, the Reds are among a few teams still talking to the free agent."I think he is going to go into next week. There seems to be a lot of competition," Jocketty said.
Masset aiming to begin throwing in January
CINCINNATI -- Reds reliever Nick Masset, who missed all of the 2012 season with a right shoulder injury, is progressing with his rehabilitation. Masset had surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his shoulder on Sept. 7.
"It's been coming along great," Masset said Friday during Redsfest. "My strength has been coming along really good. I really don't know what to expect because it's one of those things I haven't been through."
Masset expects to begin a throwing program around the first of the year. He hoped to be ready to pitch when the season starts but is being cautious with his timetable.
"I'm going to be rehabbing all the way through while I'm throwing," Masset said. "And when I'm throwing, I'm sure it's not going to feel great at the beginning. You're throwing with a new arm, so to speak. They'll probably want to take it slow with me. I know it's a three-month throwing program. So if I start at the beginning of the year, that would put me to the end of March. I guess it all depends on how quick I progress. Hopefully, there are no setbacks."