1 player the Reds should sign to a contract extension rather than trade at the deadline

The glove of Cincinnati Reds right fielder Tyler Naquin (12).
The glove of Cincinnati Reds right fielder Tyler Naquin (12). / Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

There will be a great deal of debate in the coming months over which players the Cincinnati Reds should make available in a trade and which players the organization should keep. While some may disagree, Tyler Naquin is a player the Reds should make a long-term investment in.

Naquin signed with the Reds prior to the 2021 season, and after a season-ending knee injury to Nick Senzel last season, the former Cleveland outfielder became a regular in David Bell's lineup.

While some fans would certainly prefer to see a player like Luis Castillo or Tyler Mahle to sign a long-term extension with Cincinnati, the Reds have a great deal of depth in the starting rotation. The same cannot be said for the state of the Reds outfield.

The Reds should sign Tyler Naquin to a contract extension rather than trade him.

The Cincinnati Reds traded Jesse Winker prior to the 2022 season and Nick Castellanos signed a five-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Reds did ink Tommy Pham to a contract, but it's quite likely that the former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder will be traded at or before the deadline.

Beyond Tyler Naquin, the only "regular" in Cincinnati's outfield is Nick Senzel. The former first-round pick has played well so far in 2022, but Senzel's track record of availability will always be called into question until he prove otherwise.

Aristides Aquino received a reprieve, but it's The Punisher's defense that's getting the attention this season rather than his bat. Albert Almora Jr. seems to be a nice find for the Redlegs, but a career-OPS of .695 is less than stellar.

The Cincinnati Reds have a pair of left-handed hitting outfielders at Triple-A Louisville. Both Jake Fraley and TJ Friedl are solid rotational outfielders, but neither should be looked at as an everyday option. Ronnie Dawson is also playing at Triple-A Louisville, but is in the same category as Fraley and Friedl.

Outfielder TJ Hopkins, currently at Double-A Chattanooga, has some pop in his bat and teammate Mike Siani is more of a glove-first center field prospect. Nope, when it comes to power-hitting, corner outfielders, the Cincinnati Reds best prospects are still in A-Ball. Jay Allen, Rece Hinds, Austin Hendrick, and Allan Cerda are still at least two years away from making it to the big leagues.

Which brings me back to Tyler Naquin. The Reds are not going to spend in order to land a big bat this winter. Kole Calhoun, Charlie Blackmon, Joc Pederson, and Ben Gamel don't exactly move the needle. And we know the Reds are not going to spend to bring a player like Aaron Judge or Mitch Haniger to Cincinnati.

The Cincinnati Reds need to bridge the gap from 2022 to 2024. By that time, players like Cerda, Hendrick, and maybe even Yerlin Confidan will be ready to take the next step. Until then, Cincinnati should focus on remaining competitive by hanging onto Tyler Naquin as the team's primary right fielder.

Naquin is currently slugging .467 with five home runs and 22 RBIs. The 31-year-old is under team control through the end of this season, but a moderate contract extension would likely keep Naquin in the Queen City for another two seasons.

Next. 3 LAA prospects the Reds could target in a potential trade. dark