Arbitration hearings are oftentimes rather messy. Neither party is really at fault, per se. Players are trying to get the best deal possible, while ownership would prefer to pocket as much profit as they can. This is the ugly side of baseball that fans don't like to talk about. But nonetheless, in so many ways, baseball is more than just a game, it's a business.
As such, the Cincinnati Reds were able to avoid arbitration with all but one of their players. That lone wolf is Jonathan India. It's been reported that India requested $4 million during his first year of arbitration and the Reds countered with $3.2 million. Once the hearing takes place this month, one of the two sides will walk away as the perceived winner.
But India's case doesn't look very good after watching Jazz Chisholm Jr. lose his arbitration hearing with the Miami Marlins earlier this week. Chisholm was looking to secure a $2.9 million pay day for the upcoming season, but the Fish will only be on the hook for $2.625 million.
Jazz Chisholm arbitration ruling is bad omen for Reds’ Jonathan India
While Chisholm is now a centerfielder, for the majority of his major league career, the 26-year-old occupied second base. Chisholm hit .250/.304/.457 with 19 home runs and 51 RBI last season. For his career, Chisholm boasts a slash line of .245/.304/.452 with a 103 OPS+. Chisholm was an All-Star in 2022.
India's stats from last season are similar. The University of Florida alum hit .244/.338/.407 with 17 homers and 61 runs batted in. For his career, India's hit .255/.350/.419 with a 105 OPS+. While India doesn't have an All-Star appearance attached to his résumé, he did win NL Rookie of the Year in 2021.
There are fans throughout Reds Country who view India's trip to arbitration as bad thing. But can it really get much worse? The infielder has been dangled about in trade talks since last summer. India was hot name earlier this offseason, but those trade rumors have died down of late.
At the moment, all signs point to Jonathan India suiting up for the Cincinnati Reds on Opening Day. But until Thursday night, Corbin Burnes was supposed to be the Milwaukee Brewers Opening Day starter. Things change quickly in the world of Major League Baseball.