3 items on the Cincinnati Reds' Christmas wishlist

Santa Claus throws out the first pitch.
Santa Claus throws out the first pitch. / Leon Halip/GettyImages
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Cincinnati Reds right fielder Jesse Winker (33) rounds third base after hitting a 2-run home run.
Cincinnati Reds right fielder Jesse Winker (33) rounds third base after hitting a 2-run home run. / Albert Cesare / The Enquirer via Imagn

3. The Reds should wish for a Jesse Winker extension this Christmas.

Joey Votto's 2021 performance proved that the 38-year-old isn't yet ready to relinquish his status as the face of the franchise. However, moving into the future, players like Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson look like the odds on favorites to take up that mantle.

But let's not forget about Jesse Winker. Winker was first on the team in OPS+, third in slugging percentage and doubles, and fourth in home runs and RBIs. Winker has star potential and the only thing holding him back is his health.

Winker appeared in 110 games last season and posted a 2.7 bWAR. Winker's career best was the 113 games he played during the 2019 season. In 2021, it was an intercostal injury that robbed the 28-year-old of the final month-plus of the season and likely was the death knell for the Cincinnati Reds playoff hopes last season.

Jesse Winker heads into the offseason staring down his second go at arbitration. The Reds will have this winter and then the 2022-23 offseason to secure a long-term deal with their All-Star outfielder. All signs would point to this offseason being the time to ink the slugger to a multi-year contract extension.

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The Reds could add incentives to Winker's deal that include games played, at-bats, plate appearances, etc. Cincinnati needs a star to build around for the future, and Jesse Winker is brimmed with potential. The Reds need to lockup Jesse Winker this offseason once the MLB lockout concludes.