Reds cannot afford to trade Jonathan India unless this is part of the deal

The Reds cannot afford to trade Jonathan India for minor league players.

Cincinnati Reds infielder Jonathan India
Cincinnati Reds infielder Jonathan India / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Jonathan India brings value to the Cincinnati Reds - there's no doubt about that. India's intangibles cannot be measured, and when healthy, he's a solid major leauge player. But the trade rumors just won't stop this offseason.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, one major league source said that India was a hot commodity during the GM Meetings earlier this month. However, that same source claims that the industry expectation is that the Reds would receive prospects in exchange for India, not big-league players.

If a trade for India does not include a player(s) who can help the Reds in 2024, Nick Krall should hang up the phone every time.

The Reds must receive MLB-caliber player in return for Jonathan India

The Cincinnati Reds are in position to win now. While the rest of the teams in National League Central will be looking to add this offseason as well, Cincinnati is well-positioned to contend for the division crown in 2024 and beyond.

Obviously, other teams view India in a similar light to the Reds; a player who is capable of putting up good numbers in the batters' box while providing speed on the base paths and leadership in the clubhouse.

Yes, we can go round-and-round about India's below-average defense. But Spencer Steer's defense, while valuable due to his versatility, was graded even worse than India's.

There's also the dreaded sophomore jinx that could befall any of the Reds young hitters. India battled through it himself in 2022, as did Tyler Stephenson.

Both players shined in 2021 and looked to be key pieces of the team moving forward, only to see injury and poor performance haunt their second season in the big leagues. That could happen to Matt McLain, Spencer Steer, Elly De La Cruz, and other young bats on the Reds roster.

While fans want to believe that what they saw in 2023 was a sign of things to come, Reds Country need look no further than the trio of starters from 2022 who were supposed to anchor the starting rotation last season. Hunter Greene, Graham Ashcraft, and Nick Lodolo all struggled to duplicate their rookie success.

The Cincinnati Reds should listen to every offer being presented in trade conversations involving Jonathan India. But, as president of baseball operations Nick Krall told the Cincinnati Enquirer, there's no motivation to trade India.

The infielder is under team-control through 2026 and will be owed a modest raise next season. Until the trade offers start to include major league talent that can help the Cincinnati Reds win next season, every offer should be shot down.