3 hypothetical Reds trade packages that would send Jonathan India to the Blue Jays

If the Reds and Blue Jays work out a trade for Jonathan India, which players might be headed back to Cincinnati?

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6)
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6) / Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
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Recent rumors suggest that the Toronto Blue Jays are now in on the Jonathan India sweepstakes. While Cincinnati Reds President of Baseball Operations Nick Krall has maintained that the club is not looking to trade India, the rumors persist.

The Blue Jays are an intriguing trade partner. There are several players within Toronto's organization who could help the Reds in 2024 and beyond.

While it's not entirely clear as to why the Blue Jays are actually interested in trading for India, perhaps Toronto has bigger plans in the event they actually acquire the former NL Rookie of the Year. Which three Blue Jays players could be involved in a potential trade for India?

1. Reds trade Jonathan India and add left-handed reliever

While the Cincinnati Reds already added Emilio Pagán this offseason, the bullpen could still use some reinforcements. Left-handed reliever Tim Mayza would be a terrific addition to the Reds' relief corps.

Mayza, by himself, would probably be a little light in terms of a return for Jonathan India. But perhaps the Blue Jays have a mid-tier prospect, perhaps right-hander Connor Cooke, they could pair with the southpaw in order to get a deal done.

India to TOR #1

Mayza is under team control for two more season and has minor league options remaining. That's the exact type of relief pitcher Cincinnati should be targeting in a potential trade.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, Mayza is estimated to take home $3.3 million in 2024. With India's estimated salary sitting at about $3.7 million, the Reds would not be taking on any additional money. This would also benefit the Blue Jays, who are said to be pursuing Cody Bellinger.

Tim Mayza made 69 relief appearances in 2023 and posted a sparkling 1.52 ERA and 2.60 FIP. The lefty struck out nearly 25-percent of the batters he faced while posting a 58.2 ground ball-rate. If the Reds can acquire Mayza in exchange for India, this could be a win-win.

2. Reds and Blue Jays make one-for-one swap involving Jonathan India

Now, if you're in the camp that wants to see Jonathan India traded for a frontline starter, Alek Manoah is your guy. In all honesty, given India's below-average defense, no team is looking to acquire the 2021 NL Rookie of the Year for his glove.

But while India's subpar play on the infield dirt is sure to ding his trade value, Manoah's regression in 2023 will definitely hurt his. After being in the Cy Young conversation two years ago, Manoah suffered a setback of epic proportions this past season.

India to TOR #2

The hard-throwing right-hander was so bad last season that Toronto actually optioned Manoah back to Triple-A. The Reds took a similar approach with Nick Senzel in 2023. Manoah did not take kindly to the demotion, and it's assumed there is some animosity just below the surface.

This would be a change-of-scenery trade that could work out extremely well for both the Cincinnati Reds and Toronto Blue Jays. Alek Manoah has the tools to be an ace, but after walking 14.2-percent of the batters he faced last season, there are certainly some questions.

Alek Manoah is still pre-arbitration eligible, meaning he'll be making the league minimum in 2024 and does not become a free agent until after the 2027 season. Manoah, much like the aforementioned Tim Mayza, has minor league options remaining.

There's risk involved, to be sure, but the upside is that Cincinnati is able to acquire a frontline starter. While losing Jonathan India would sting, the Reds unequivocally have the infield depth to weather the loss.

3. Reds secure starting pitcher while sending Jonathan India to Toronto

It's unlikely that a one-for-one swap sending Jonathan India to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Yusei Kikuchi would be enough to suffice the Cincinnati Reds, but it would be close. In Toronto were able to add another low-level prospect, it might be enough to seal the deal.

It would also arm the Reds with that starting pitcher that the fanbase has been clamoring for. While Cincinnati already inked Nick Martinez to a two-year contract, it's quite possible that the former San Diego Padres pitcher would serve as more of swingman to help balance out the young rotation.

India to TOR #3

Kikuchi, however, is a reliable starting pitcher who is going to give you 25 to 30 starts per season and log 150-plus innings if he stays healthy. Last season, Kikuchi was 11-6 with a 3.86 ERA and 4.12 FIP. The lefty also posted a 25.9-percent strikeout-rate, punching out 181 batters in 167.2 innings pitched.

Unlike Tim Mayza or Alek Manoah, who are arbitration or pre-arbitration eligible, Kikuchi is actually under contract. He is owed $10 million this season and will be a free agent heading into next winter.

Yusei Kikuchi paired with a young, controllable prospect might be enough to sway the Cincinnati Reds to part ways with Jonathan India. The Toronto Blue Jays lost Kevin Kiermaier, Matt Chapman, and Whit Merrifield this offseason.

While young stars like Bo Bichette and Vlad Guerrero Jr. are still part of the Jays roster, Toronto is need of some upgrades its lineup if Ross Atkins and front office are hoping to contend in the uber-competitive AL East.