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Reds, with uncertain pitching plan, land Affeldt in one-year deal

CINCINNATI -- Jeremy Affeldt wanted another chance to start,
and he knew the Cincinnati Reds had holes in their rotation.

"My heart skipped a beat when they offered that deal," Affeldt
said Wednesday after he and the Reds finalized a one-year, $3
million contract. "It was a great opportunity for me. The deals
that were on the table, my heart wasn't really in it."

Affeldt, a left-hander who has experience starting and relieving, can make
another $1 million in performance bonuses based on starts and
innings.

He pitched in relief for the National League champion Colorado Rockies last season and pitched
in all four games as Colorado was swept by the Boston Red Sox in
the World Series. Affeldt, 28, was with the Kansas
City Royals from 2002 to 2006, making 42 starts.

"We presented a scenario to him to be a starter," Reds general
manager Wayne Krivsky said. "He believes he can, and we think he
can. He'll have a chance to compete for one of the jobs in the
rotation, we promised him that."

The Reds' starting rotation remains uncertain behind
right-handers Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo. If Affeldt doesn't
work out there, he adds a late-inning relief option.

The Reds signed closer Francisco Cordero in the offseason, which
moves David Weathers into a setup role. Cincinnati also has
left-handed relievers Mike Stanton, Bill Bray and Jon Coutlangus.

The Rockies got Affeldt in a July 2006 trade. Last season, he
went 4-3 with a 3.51 ERA in 75 appearances, earning $1.25 million.
He is 25-27 in the big leagues with a 4.74 ERA.

Although spring training is less than a month away, Affeldt said
he hadn't worried about getting a deal.

"I wasn't too concerned because I know what I can do," he
said. "I have every intention of winning a spot."