3 most pressing contract extensions for Reds after Bobby Witt Jr. news

Bobby Witt Jr. signed a massive contract extension with the Kansas City Royals on Monday.

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz / Emilee Chinn/Cincinnati Reds/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Reds are one of the most exciting young teams in baseball. After graduating several of their top prospects to the big leagues in 2023, the Reds will look to their young core to lead the way heading into 2024 and beyond.

But these players will only be "cheap" for so long. Once players reach arbitration eligibility, those players who were playing for the league-minimum become more expensive. Jonathan India was making the league-minimum a year ago, and will be making over $3 million in 2024.

3 most pressing contract extensions for Reds after Bobby Witt Jr. news

The Kansas City Royals, similar to the Cincinnati Reds, operate in one of the smallest markets in Major League Baseball. However, earlier this week, the Royals agreed to terms on a massive contract extension with KC's budding superstar, Bobby Witt Jr. The Royals signed the shortstop to an 11-year, $288.7 million contract.

This will inevitably lead to speculation among the Reds fan base. Should the Reds sign any of their young talent to a similar contract? If so, who should get that type of deal? Let's look at the three most pressing contract extension candidates the Reds should target after the Royals just dropped the bag on Witt.

Extending Elly De La Cruz offers the Reds high-risk/ high-reward

This conversation stops and starts with Elly De La Cruz. One of the most electric players in Major League Baseball, De La Cruz is must-see TV. De La Cruz possesses freakish athleticism, top-notch speed, and out of the this world power. The young shortstop has the potential to be the best player in baseball.

The keyword, of course, is potential. De La Cruz, while impressive at times during his rookie season, also showed some flaws. After bursting on the major league scene midway through the 2023 season, De La Cruz fizzled out down the stretch.

It wasn't just his bat either. While De La Cruz was posting a strikeout-rate over 30% at times last season, he was also quite lackadaisical with his glove. De La Cruz, who's arm strength is elite, committed over dozen miscues in 2023.

But if you're looking for a player who'll put fans in the stands, no one one the Cincinnati Reds roster can match Elly De La Cruz. If he reaches the lofty potential affixed to him by scouts, pundits, and fans alike, then there's no question that De La Cruz is the top player to receive that type of contract extension.