3 infielders the Reds should consider trading and 4 who should be off limits

If the Reds are looking to upgrade the starting rotation, trading one of the team's many infielders might be the easiest way to do so.

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand (33)
Cincinnati Reds first baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand (33) / David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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Reds infielder Matt McLain should be off limits this offseason

Were it not for a season-ending injury during the final month of his first year in the big leauges, there's a good chance that Matt McLain would have been among the Top 3 finalist for the 2023 National League Rookie of the Year Award.

The Cincinnati Reds made McLain the first rookie infielder to debut this past season, and the former UCLA Bruin did not disappoint. McLain flashed the leather and brought some punch to the heart of the Reds lineup in 2023. McLain also showed off his wheels and recorded double-digit stolen bases.

Aside from Spencer Steer, McLain brings more versatility to the Reds infield than almost any other player. McLain is able to play above-average defense at both shortstop and second base. In college, McLain also played center field - a position he may one day play in the majors.

McLain should have his spot on the Cincinnati Reds 2024 Opening Day lineup card all but cemented. Whether he's playing shortstop or second base, McLain should have his name written in permanent marker as hitting second in the batting order on March 28th against the Washington Nationals.

If Elly De La Cruz is No. 1 among the players who should be off limits in trade talks this offseason, Matt McLain is 1A. The 24-year-old looks the part and should be a force in the Reds lineup next season.