There are several takeaways from this latest revelation, but chief among them might be the advantage that Reds President of Baseball Operations Nick Krall has at this moment.
If the Reds are actually able to execute a trade involving India before the MLB Winter Meetings begin and before the free agent signing period heats up, Cincinnati has an opportunity to take advantage of teams who are desperate to both add players and save money.
Why trading Jonathan India sooner rather than later could benefit the Reds
Typically, once the offseason begins, there are a handful of clubs and players who have the chance to set the market. Whether that's through free agency or trades, teams and agents take a "who blinks first" mentality when it comes to the offseason.
If the Reds are able to find a trade partner for Jonathan India before any other deals are made, Cincinnati will have, in affect, set the market. The same thing happened at the trade deadline in 2022 when the Reds snagged two of the Seattle Mariners top prospects in exchange for Luis Castillo.
The 2022 trade deadline was set for Tuesday, August 2nd, but Nick Krall and the Cincinnati Reds front office swung a deal with Mariners President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto on Friday, July 29th.
Castillo, much like India, was the most-prized player at the 2022 MLB trade deadline. That's not to say that India is the best player who could be moved this winter. Pete Alonso, Juan Soto, and Willy Adames are also rumored to be on the trade block.
But unlike India, all three of those players will be free agents at the end of next season. Unless the Washington Nationals decide to trade outfielder Lane Thomas this offseason, India is the best bat available with team-control beyond the 2024 season.
Teams who are looking for cost-control will likely be in the market for Jonathan India, and if Nick Krall sees the opportunity to secure a package that offers plenty of upside, he should make that trade.
The Cincinnati Reds, just like they did in July of 2022, have something of value that other teams want. The Reds need to cash in on this opportunity and continue to build a contender for the 2024 season.