Rumors Swirl Around Jonathan India as Reds Discuss Trade Possibilities
An offensive output of 100 OPS+ is considered a good thing for a player, as it signifies a league-average performance. This kind of production can compensate for other flaws in the right circumstances. A player who maintains a 100 OPS+ while playing in over 150 games a year, displaying consistent defense, and earning the league minimum salary is highly desirable for any front office. It allows them to allocate their financial resources elsewhere and align their payroll accordingly.
However, when a player with a 100 OPS+ has battled through multiple injuries, struggled against left-handed pitchers, and has poor defensive metrics, watching their salary escalate rapidly becomes a nightmare for a front office. In such cases, when ready-made replacements are already available within the team, a trade becomes a likely scenario.
One player who has been at the center of trade rumors is Jonathan India. As the hot stove season ramps up, the speculation surrounding India’s future with the Cincinnati Reds continues to grow. The middle infield market in free agency is thin, which further fuels the trade talks. MLB Network insider Jon Morosi reported that the Reds are actively discussing trade possibilities with three or four teams.
Sources: Reds are discussing Jonathan India trade possibilities with 3 or 4 teams.
Talks are described as active.
The dialogue has progressed this week but no deal is close as of this hour.
With players like Matt McLain, Noelvi Marte, Elly De La Cruz, Spencer Steer, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand already on the roster and making the league minimum salary, holding on to India as his arbitration-eligible salary approaches million goes against the Reds’ trend of being frugal. Additionally, India’s performance has declined significantly over the past two seasons since his breakout campaign in 2021. However, it is worth considering that trading him now might mean selling low on a player who has shown potential as a solid big league infielder when healthy.
The Reds’ depth in the middle infield, with players like McLain, Marte, and Steer, has proven crucial due to injuries in previous seasons. If the Reds can involve teams like the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, and Seattle Mariners in trade discussions, a bidding war may ensue due to the scarcity of options in the market. Boston and Seattle had one of the worst second base units in terms of offensive production in 2023, while Toronto has a void to fill in their infield after parting ways with Matt Chapman and Whit Merrifield.
The timing of these trade rumors is intriguing, considering the approaching non-tender deadline. While it is unlikely that India will be non-tendered, the Reds’ decision to move him now could impact their approach to other roster moves. Another player, Nick Senzel, a former first-round pick, is a potential non-tender candidate due to his expected salary increase to $3 million for 2024. However, his defensive versatility and ability to hit left-handed pitching might make him a better fit for the remaining roster if the Reds manage to trade India, save some cash, and unlock the rest of their infield mix.
Moving India before other middle-infield options become available in the free agent market, such as Luis Urias, could be part of the Reds’ strategy. It is clear that the Reds are actively shopping India, and it is likely that we have seen his last game in a Reds uniform. The question that remains is whether the Reds are seeking immediate help for their big league club or are looking for long-term prospects in return.