As a result of the Reds are loaded with up-and-coming younger infield expertise, Jonathan India has been seen a logical commerce candidate since previous to summer season’s commerce deadline, and it’s extensively thought of potential and even possible that the previous NL Rookie of the 12 months might be moved this winter. Nonetheless, Reds president of baseball operations Nick Krall threw some chilly water on the idea of an India commerce when talking with Gordon Wittenmyer of the Cincinnati Enquirer and different reporters Friday, saying “I wouldn’t say we’re motivated. If a deal comes round, we’ve got to be open to something. However simply motivated to maneuver gamers off your roster simply because ’that man may not match (a selected spot).’ That doesn’t make any sense.”
Naturally, some gamesmanship might be at work right here. Overtly admitting that India was being shopped would do nothing for the Reds’ leverage in commerce talks, and it may not play properly throughout the Cincinnati clubhouse since India is a beloved staff chief. Krall’s “open to something” stance with reference is frequent inside entrance workplaces round baseball because you by no means know when a rival staff may unexpectedly make an enormous provide, but whereas he didn’t shut the door on India being dealt, Krall additionally made a number of logical factors about why the Reds would wish to retain the second baseman’s providers.
For one, it wasn’t way back that India was seen as a key member of Cincinnati’s rebuild, after capturing NL ROY honors in 2021. He has since been hampered by hamstring issues in 2022 after which a bout of plantar fasciitis in 2023, limiting him to 222 of a potential 324 video games and an uninspiring .246/.333/.394 slash line over 960 plate appearances. That works out to a 98 wRC+ during the last two seasons, and 1.7 fWAR whole when additionally factoring in India’s subpar defensive numbers at second base.
Whereas the emergence of Matt McLain, Elly De La Cruz, Noelvi Marte, Spencer Steer, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand has led to a crowded state within the Cincinnati infield, Krall disagreed with the idea that his staff essentially even has a surplus.
“You take a look at our membership, and I believe most guys have been injured sooner or later final 12 months. So when you’ve got a deep bench of men that may play on daily basis, that’s not a fault in our roster. That’s factor,” Krall mentioned. “I might welcome that, to have guys who’ve expertise to have the ability to play a number of positions, to have the ability to step right into a spot and be participant….[India is] a first-time arbitration-eligible participant; we’ve bought him beneath management for 3 extra seasons. He matches our membership. He matches our group.”
“In the event you mentioned, ’Hey, you’ve bought guys coming behind him otherwise you’ve bought guys which might be pushing him out or that he doesn’t have a spot to play,’ that’s one factor. However he does have a spot to play right here. There are at-bats right here. Are they going to be 650, 700 plate appearances in a season? No, however that additionally offers you the flexibility to present guys days off and hold guys recent and wholesome all through the course of the 12 months.”
Krall isn’t fallacious in extolling the advantages of depth, to say nothing of the truth that Steer (who debuted in 2022) is the one member of the youthful group who has any massive league expertise previous to 2023. Within the occasion of an harm and even only a sophomore droop from one or two members of the prospect core, and abruptly the Reds may go from a surplus to a little bit of a scarcity of dependable infield potentialities. That being mentioned, if depth is what the Reds need, they may additionally look so as to add one other infielder for extra of a transparent backup position, whereas buying and selling India for assist elsewhere on the roster.
Whereas India’s destiny is but to be decided, the Reds did half methods with one infielder yesterday when Nick Senzel wasn’t tendered a contract earlier than the Friday night tender deadline. Krall instructed MLB.com’s Joe Trezza and different reporters that the Reds first explored buying and selling Senzel, saying “we talked to a handful of groups and clearly didn’t discover the curiosity to maneuver him. So we determined this was most likely finest for our group, to maneuver on and let him discover a place the place he can play on daily basis.”
Moreso than the $3MM wage Senzel was projected to earn in arbitration, the Senzel resolution in the end all the way down to a roster crunch. As Krall put it, “we’ve bought seven infielders nonetheless on the 40-man. We checked out the place Senzel was and it was slightly little bit of, ’How does all this work?’ ”
It appears fairly probably that Senzel will land a assured contract with one other staff, and maybe may but be a late bloomer with a change of surroundings heading into his age-29 season. Debuting in 2019 as one among baseball’s prime prospects, Senzel has a modest .239/.302/.369 slash line over 1366 profession plate appearances. Well being issues and a variety of positional adjustments have marked Senzel’s profession, which Krall acknowledged in making the powerful non-tender selection.