It’s becoming commonplace to lock up emerging stars before they hit the free agent market. Which five players should the Cincinnati Reds extend this offseason?
We’ve seen a lot of major league ball clubs extend their budding stars before they become high-priced free agents. The Cincinnati Reds wisely did this with Eugenio Suárez before the 2018 season. So, which five players, still under team control, should the Reds look to extend this offseason?
So we’re all on the same page, José Iglesias will not be considered in this discussion. Iglesias is a free agent and is not eligible for arbitration, nor does he have a player or team option on his current deal. While Iglesias may be the most logical choice to receive a new contract from Cincinnati this offseason, he’s not part of this conversation.
However, several other players on the 40-man roster could be considered. The Reds have a few players who’ll be entering their first year of arbitration this winter and it may behoove the front office to reach long-term deals with those young players before their performance elevates them out of Cincinnati’s price range.
We saw the Atlanta Braves lock-up two of their young stars this past offseason, when both Ozzie Albies (7 years/$35M) and Ronald Acuna Jr. (8 years/$100M) signed long-term extensions with the NL East Champions. The Braves now have a fantastic, young core in place for years to come.
So who might the Reds front office reach out to this offseason? Obviously, there are some candidates within the Reds starting rotation that Dick Williams and Nick Krall would love to secure beyond their current window of team control. Let’s look at the five most likely players who could be approached this offseason about signing a long-term deal with the Reds.