It's been said that you can never have too much of a good thing. But the Cincinnati Reds may be proving that statement to be inaccurate. The Reds have too many good infielders.
So many, in fact, that rival teams believe that at least one will be headed elsewhere before spring training begins next month. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, other executives expect the Reds to trade one of their infielders prior to the team's arrival in Goodyear.
These latest Reds rumors are hardly shocking, and it would definitely offer some clarity ahead of what's expected to be a crucial season for Cincinnati's young ball club. But the question is, which player will be dealt?
Which Reds infielder could be traded?
If the 2024 season started today, the Reds would have Jonathan India, Spencer Steer, Jeimer Candelario, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Elly De La Cruz, Jose Barrero, Matt McLain, and Nolevi Marte all vying for playing time.
Now, you can argue that Barrero shouldn't even be mentioned with the others in the group or that Steer is going to be the Reds' primary left fielder during the upcoming season, but that still leaves six players with only four spots up for grabs.
India's current contract situation and persistent trade rumors would seem to suggest that he's the odd-man out, but that may not be the case. India is still under team control through the 2026 and would probably fetch the smallest return if traded this offseason. This is definitely a story worth keeping an eye on with spring training just a few weeks away.
Reds' bitter rival expected to become aggressive
The Chicago Cubs have been very quiet this offseason. Sure, they were rumored to be in the mix for Shohei Ohtani, but the reigning AL MVP spurned their offer and eventually landed a massive 10-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Cubs arose from their hibernation this past week when they came to terms with Japanese pitcher Shōta Imanaga. But it would appear as though the North Siders are just getting started. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, GMs and executives predict that the Cubs will be the most aggressive team the remainder of the winter.
That could mean big problems for the Reds and the rest of the NL Central. Chicago has seemed to be the logical destination for Cody Bellinger all along, and there are still plenty of impact-players available in free agency and on the trade market. A spending spree this month could vault the Cubbies to the head of the line in the chase for supremacy in the NL Central.
Matt Chapman may land in the NL Central
Speaking of the Cubs being aggressive this winter, Nightengale's report also cited Chicago as a potential landing spot for third baseman Matt Chapman. While the San Francisco Giants are seen as the favorites to land the top infielder on the market, the Cubs are said to be in the mix as well.
Chicago just recently traded for infield prospect Michael Busch, so that could make signing Chapman less likely. However, if Chicago is looking to upgrade the roster, the four-time Gold Glove Award-winner would certainly do that.