2 contract extensions the Reds should make soon and 1 they should avoid

Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson
Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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Reds should sign Elly De La Cruz to a contract extension soon.

Whoa, wait a minute! Why in the world should the Cincinnati Reds sign a player to a contract extension if he's yet to even set foot on a major league field? That's a very fair question, and one that will certainly take some explaining.

Elly De La Cruz is thought by many throughout baseball to be a future star. The Athletic's Keith Law (subscription required) thinks that De La Cruz "might end up as the best player in baseball". MLB Pipeline says De La Cruz "has the chance to be a true five-tool player". FanGraphs compares De La Cruz to Fernado Tatis Jr. and Willy Adames.

That is all very high praise and if you've seen De La Cruz play you understand the hype. However, until he makes it to the big leagues, hype is all that it is. That said, if De La Cruz performs at the major league level in the same manner he has the past two seasons in the minors, the Reds will need to lock him up quickly.

The Atlanta Braves signed two of their rookies (Spencer Strider and Michael Harris II) from last season to contract extensions. The Tampa Bay Rays inked shortstop Wander Franco to an 11-year extension after this first major league season. And the Seattle Mariners signed AL Rookie of the Year Julio Rodriguez to a massive contract extension last summer.

So, if Elly De La Cruz becomes the type of player that everyone expects him to be, it would be in the Cincinnati Reds best interest to sign him to a contract extension before he prices himself outside their comfort zone. That could happen very quickly.