It's that time of year, Reds fans. Every spring several teams approach some of their studs in an effort to sign them to a long-term deal. The Cincinnati Reds most recent example is the six-year, $66 million deal Eugenio Suárez signed several years ago.
It took a little longer to work out a long-term deal with Hunter Greene last spring, but the club inked their starting pitcher to a six-year, $53 million extension last April. Greene will now be in the Queen City through at least 2028. Jonathan India just signed a two-year contract, but the Reds second baseman will still be arbitration eligible in 2026.
The Reds have so much young talent that Greene's contract extension won't be the only one you'll see in the near future. With the exception of Jeimer Candelario, all of the free agents that Cincinnati signed this winter are on the books for two years or less. If the Reds were looking to hand out contract extensions this spring, which two players should be atop their list, and who should be further down?
2 contract extensions the Reds should pursue and 2 they should avoid (for now)
The Reds should sign Noelvi Marte to a contract extension right now
If there's one player, outside of Matt McLain, who feels like a sure thing, it's Noelvi Marte. Though he only had a cup of coffee in the big leagues last season, Marte proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has what it takes to hit at the big league level.
Marte ended his first taste of The Show with a 16-game hitting streak. Marte can hit for average and hit for power while also displaying tremendous speed and a good enough glove. If the Reds are looking for a cornerstone of the franchise for the next decade, Marte is that guy.
And the Detroit Tigers have already done all the heavy lifting. After Colt Keith agreed to terms on a six-year/$28 million contract with the Tigers, the Reds now have the blueprint of what a deal for Marte should look like. Keith's contract contains several options as well that would allow it to reach up to $82 million over nine years.
After securing Noelvi Marte in a midsummer deal with the Seattle Mariners in 2022, the Cincinnati Reds now have the opportunity to do what they should've done with the player he was traded for. Rather than keep Luis Castillo in Cincinnati, the Reds traded him to Seattle. Now is the time for the Reds to strike a deal with Marte before be becomes too expensive to retain.