Reds rumored to have "had preliminary talks" with starter Graham Ashcraft about contract extension

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Graham Ashcraft
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Graham Ashcraft / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

While the Cincinnati Reds are mired in the midst of a six-game losing streak, at least a bit of good news emerged on Sunday courtesy of USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

According to Nightengale, the Reds have had preliminary conversations with starter Graham Ashcraft about a contract extension. These latest Reds rumors are sure to pique the interest of the Cincinnati fanbase.

The Reds just recently extended starting pitcher Hunter Greene, and Nick Lodolo confirmed that he's had discussions with the club about a possible extension as well.

Reds rumors: Graham Ashcraft has had preliminary discussions about contract extension.

Last Wednesday, it was announced that former first-round draft pick and 2023 Opening Day starter Hunter Greene had reached a six-year/$53-million contract extension with the Cincinnati Reds. The deal contains a team-option for the 2029 season and, with escalators, could be worth more than $90-million.

Of course, after the successful rookie seasons of both Nick Lodolo and Graham Ashcraft, fans were curious if the team had had any contract talks with them as well. Lodolo confirmed himself last week that he and the team had spoken about a long-term deal, and now it's being reported that Ashcraft and his representation may be working on a deal as well.

Ashcraft's contract extension would look a bit different than Greene's. Because he debuted a little later in the season, the Reds maintain an extra year of control over Ashcraft. Lodolo can become a free agent after 2027, but Ashcraft in unable to reach free agency until after the 2028 season.

Both Ashcraft and Lodolo are also two years older than Greene, which will undoubtedly make the negotiations a little more difficult. If Greene plays out the entirety of his contract, he will enter free agency before he turns 30 years old.

No matter which way you slice it, these latest Reds rumors are great news for the baseball fans in Cincinnati. It may be difficult to see the bright side at the moment, but if the Cincinnati Reds can end the 2023 season with their three young pitchers under team-friendly contract extensions, Nick Krall deserves a ton of credit.

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