2 Reds players who should have their contract extension talks paused & 1 that should intensify

Cincinnati Reds Jonathan India, Tyler Stephenson
Cincinnati Reds Jonathan India, Tyler Stephenson / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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The Reds should intensify contract extension talks with 2B Jonathan India.

I don't want to hear about Jonathan India's defense. The former first-round pick is never going to be an elite defender, but if India can make the routine plays, he's got a spot on my team every day of the week.

India is back to his 2021 self. That season, the Reds second baseman used an offensive onslaught after being promoted to the team's leadoff and rode it all the way to the Rookie of the Year trophy.

Last season was an anomaly for the 26-year-old. India came into his sophomore season looking to pound 25-plus home runs and swing for the fences. Instead, India was convinced that the additional muscle he put on during the 2021-22 offseason contributed to his injuries and poor performance.

But 2023 has been a return to normal for the former Florida Gator. Sure, we can talk about WAR, exit velocity, wOBA, or any other statistic that you want to refer to. But it's the intangibles that India brings that are on another level.

After last season, this year's Reds team needed an injection of leadership. Jonathan India has provided that. The infielder is a spark atop the lineup who expects results from himself and holds his teammates accountable. His personality is infectious, and that's just something you can't teach.

There's no need for the Cincinnati Reds to sign Jonathan India to some 10-year contract or anything of that sort. But a four-year deal with a team option for a fifth season would buy out India's arbitration years, and give the Reds cost certainty heading into the future.

India is represented by Scott Boras, so it can be tough to get a contract extension done without hitting the open market. But the Reds already have their star pitcher locked up for the next several seasons, it's time to extend their star hitter as well.

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