The Cincinnati Reds head into the holiday weekend with a lot of uncertainty. But, one thing is for certain, this team has some young talent that needs to be locked up for the long haul.
While the Reds front office is trying to shed some payroll, they should also be looking to offer contract extensions to some of their better players.
Yes, we've seen Wade Miley and Tucker Barnhart shown the door. In all likelihood, Nick Castellanos will be wearing a different uniform in 2022.
But all is not lost, and this team has some very good, young talent. GM Nick Krall and the Reds ownership group would be wise to lock up some of their core players.
So who are four players the Cincinnati Reds front office should look to extend this offseason?
1. Jonathan India, Reds second baseman
I won't belabor the point, but I really think the Reds would do themselves good by signing Jonathan India to a contract extension despite the fact he's pre-arbitration eligible.
Yes, it goes against virtually everything we've seen from the Cincinnati Reds over the years, but this feels like the right move.
Joey Votto's contract will be coming off the books in 2023, though the team has an option to bring him back in 2024 if they choose.
I'm of the mindset that Jonathan India is the new face of the Cincinnati Reds and committing to him for the long haul would be a step in the right direction for the franchise.
Votto has carried the torch for the better part of a decade, even though I'd argue that Brandon Phillips held, or at least shared, the mantle for a few years as well.
Handing out contract extensions to pre-arb eligible players isn't unheard of. The Atlanta Braves did it with Ronald Acuña Jr. and the San Diego Padres did it with Fernando Tatis Jr.
Jonathan India has the makings of a star. The 2021 NL Rookie of the Year will soon price himself out of the small Cincinnati market if he continues to excel on the field.
While unconventional, the Cincinnati Reds should at least consider offering Jonathan India a long-term contract.