3. Reds rumors to squelch: Trade Jonathan India because of his below-average defense.
Do you want to know what these young Cincinnati Reds prospects have proven? Absolutely nothing, at least at the major league level anyway. Sure, Elly De La Cruz, Edwin Arroyo, Noelvi Marte, even Matt McLain and Spencer Steer all look the part of the next great wave a talented Reds infielders.
But so did Jonathan India back in 2021. The Reds second baseman outperformed almost everyone on the roster during spring training and earned a spot on the Opening Day roster. India looked great through the first couple of weeks, but really cooled off until David Bell moved him to the top of the batting order.
Once there, India became a table-setter for the likes of Jesse Winker, Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, and Nick Castellanos. India won the NL Rookie of the Year in 2021 and the expectations for an encore performance in 2022 were through the roof. Sadly, Jonathan India fell short of those expectations, and due to injury, played in just 103 games in 2022.
But India has remade his body, become the vocal leader for this year's team, and is hitting like he was back in 2021. Despite all that, however, there are grumblings among some the fans about his defense. Furthermore, the idea of trading India and inserting McLain at the keystone is becoming quite popular.
Let's put the brakes on this idea for now, shall we? Is Jonathan India an elite defender? No. But his bat more than makes up for his defensive shortcomings. It would also be a horrible precedent for the Reds clubhouse to see their leader, and arguably best player, traded in the midst of a rebuild.
Jonathan India is under team control for another three years. If there's any internal discussion about how to move forward with India in terms of the position he plays or offering a contract extension, those discussions can be tabled during the offseason. India is the type of player Reds fans should want to build the team around, not trade away because of below-average defense.