What might a contract extension for Reds third baseman Brandon Drury look like?

Cincinnati Reds third baseman Brandon Drury (22) drops his bat after hitting a three-run home run.
Cincinnati Reds third baseman Brandon Drury (22) drops his bat after hitting a three-run home run. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Brandon Drury is having a career-year with the Cincinnati Reds. While most fans see Drury as the perfect "sell-high" candidate at the upcoming trade deadline, there are some fans throughout Reds Country who would prefer to see the 29-year-old return to Cincinnati in 2023.

It isn't the craziest idea, right? I mean Drury has been one of the Reds best hitters throughout the entire season and is likely headed to the All-Star Game. I can certainly see the merit in attempting to re-sign Drury during the offseason.

That said, despite having a fantastic 2022 campaign, Drury still has an OPS+ of just 90 and an on-base percentage that's just a hair over .300. So let's not overreact to what Drury is doing this season. Oftentimes, players return to the stats on the back of their baseball card. But let's entertain the notion nonetheless.

What might a contract extension look like for Reds 3B Brandon Drury?

Oftentimes when evaluating a player's performance for the purpose of contract negotiations, you try to find a comparable player. In Brandon Drury's case, we're looking for a journeyman infielder who broke out last season and had the best season of his career.

While it's a bit of a stretch, Eduardo Escobar kind of fits that mold. The New York Mets signed the veteran third baseman to a two-year/$20M contract after Escobar hit .253/.314/.472 with 28 home runs and 90 RBIs while playing for Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers. Escobar also went to his first All-Star Game in 2021.

But like I said, that's a bit of a stretch. Escobar is a much more established player with a career bWAR of 12.0. Brandon Drury's bWAR is 0.7, and was -0.6 prior to the 2022 season. So I think it's not the most favorable comp despite the similarities.

Drury's former teammate Jonathan Villar might be a decent comp. Similar to Escobar, Villar is a more established major league player than Drury and he was able to secure a one-year/$6M contract with a mutual option for the 2023 season after hitting .249/.322/.416 for the New York Mets last season.

One final comp might be Brandon Drury's current teammate Donovan Solano. The former San Francisco Giants infielder had little-to-no success early in his career, but rode a three-year wave with the Giants in which he hit .308/.354/.435 and won a Silver Slugger (2020) to a one-year/$4.5M contract with the Cincinnati Reds.

So with all those varying degrees of contracts, I think the best contract extension that Brandon Drury could hope for would be something in the neighborhood of two-years/$10M. Perhaps a one-year/$5M with a mutual option is more likely.

To be honest, Brandon Drury should test the open market and see what type of deal his 2022 season will bring. If the Cincinnati Reds could bring Drury back on a team-friendly deal, maybe they take a chance that he'll duplicate his performance from this season.

However, the best plan of attack for the Reds is to get what they can for Drury while he's a hot commodity. Cincinnati can then promote the likes Jose Barrero, Matt McLain, and others to the major leagues to see if they're who the Reds front office believes them to be.

Next. Predicting the Reds starting lineup after the trade deadline. dark