Brandon Drury is not part of the Cincinnati Reds long-term future

Cincinnati Reds third baseman Brandon Drury (22) reacts.
Cincinnati Reds third baseman Brandon Drury (22) reacts. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

Earlier this week, MLB insider Ken Rosenthal floated the idea of a possible contract extension between the Cincinnati Reds and infielder Brandon Drury. Reds GM Nick Krall shot down the idea on Monday telling's Mark Sheldon that it's, “not on the table as of right now.”

That should not come as a surprise to anyone who's seen what the Cincinnati Reds have been doing since the offseason. The front office has unloaded the contracts of Sonny Gray and Eugenio Suárez and waved googbye to veterans like Tucker Barnhart and Wade Miley.

Signing Brandon Drury to a contract extension would be a mistake. Yes, he's had a fine season and can likely parlay his performance in 2022 to a lucrative contract in the offseason. But the Reds focus should be on clearing the books and clearing the way for younger players.

Brandon Drury is not part of the Reds future.

Brandon Drury leads the Cincinnati Reds in many categories. The 29-year-old has 20 home runs, 59 RBIs, and a slugging percentage of .520. Those are terrific numbers, and were the Reds atop the NL Central and in need of right-handed bat, Drury would undoubtedly be a clear-cut target for Nick Krall at this year's trade deadline.

But alas, the Reds are playing for the future. Unless Cincinnati decides to pursue several top-level free agents this offseason, much like the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers did last winter, the next Reds team that will actually be in the hunt for the postseason is at least two years from setting foot on the grass at Great American Ball Park.

The hope for the Reds is that by 2024, the core of Tyler Stephenson, Jonathan India, and maybe even Nick Senzel, will be joined by the likes of Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, Allan Cerda, Noelvia Marte, and Rece Hinds.

We've already seen the Reds give us a glimpse of what the starting rotation might look like beyond this season. Hunter Greene, Graham Ashcraft, and Nick Lodolo have all shown flashes of brilliance. The hope by 2024 will be that those three have elevated their game to an All-Star level and will be joined by Connor Phillips, Brandon Williamson, Chase Petty, and others.

Brandon Drury was a great late-season addition to the Cincinnati Reds this season. He should have been an All-Star. But the best thing Nick Krall can do is trade the slugger at the deadline for a player that can be part of the next playoff-contending Reds team. That's not happening this year or next year.

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