3 Reds who should be offered extensions during the offseason and 1 who still has something to prove

Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson.
Cincinnati Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson. / Joe Sargent/GettyImages
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The Reds should sign Nick Lodolo to a contract extension.

There's always risk when you talk about signing pitchers to long-term contracts. Tommy John surgeries are all too common nowadays, and small market teams like the Cincinnati Reds can really handcuff themselves with multiple millions of dollars tied up in an injured pitcher.

But good teams need good pitchers, and if the Reds hope to compete heading into the future, it's going to be the starting pitching that takes the team to the promised land. Nick Lodolo was the best of the young Cincinnati starters in 2022, and while it may be a bit premature, the Atlanta Braves have laid the groundwork for a what contract extension for Lodolo would look like.

The Braves inked rookie pitcher Spencer Strider to a six-year/$75M contract that could be worth up to $92M. That's the going-rate for a good young pitcher with upside. According to MLB.com, Strider will make $1 million each of the next two seasons and $4 million in 2025. His salary will jump to $20 million in '26 and then rise to $22 million for both of the next two seasons.

When was the last time you can remember the Cincinnati Reds having a good, young left-hander starter with All-Star level stuff? That's exactly what Lodolo has. The southpaw is unafraid and his calm demeanor is felt in the dugout and on the mound.

You can make the argument that Hunter Greene has better stuff than Nick Lodolo, and perhaps that the flamethrower has better upside. But while the reward that Greene offers could be great, the risk-averse Cincinnati front office might be more apt to offer a contract extension to Lodolo.