Jonathan India and the Cincinnati Reds were able to avoid arbitration late last week when the two sides came to terms on a two-year contract. India will receive a base salary of $3.8 million in 2024 and $5 million in 2025. The Reds' second baseman will then be eligible for arbitration once again prior to the 2026 season.
The simple fact that India and the Reds were able to avoid arbitration, in and of itself, is a win. Those arbitration hearings are typically not the most pleasant conversations and can oftentimes end with some hurt feelings. But that's no longer a concern for India and the Reds' front office.
But where do things go from here? What's changed? What will India's role be in 2024? Will the trade rumors finally disappear? Will India sign another extension before his arbitration window closes?
What does Jonathan India’s contract extension say about his future with Reds?
The answer to most of those questions, quite frankly is, we don't know. In the grand scheme of things, very little has changed other than the fact that India is not going to be traded prior to the start of the 2024 season. The Reds infielder was subject of trade speculation all offseason, but those types of conversations can be put to bed (for now).
However, all the Reds have really done is prolonged the inevitable. India now has a guaranteed salary for both 2024 and 2025. If India plays well in 2024, that $5 million salary in 2025 is going to look quite nice; not just to the Reds, but other ball clubs as well.
India was a wanted man this offseason. Other teams came calling, but president of baseball operations Nick Krall continued to turn down every offer that came his way. If other teams are calling about players on your team, that's a good sign. Did Krall overplay his hand? Perhaps, but fans won't know the answer to that until India sets foot on the diamond in 2024.
Jonathan India will have a regular spot in the Cincinnati Reds lineup. Whether he's at second base, the outfield, or acting as the designated hitter, India will be on the field almost every day. The bigger concern is whether or not India can stay healthy. Plantar fasciitis plagued the 27-year-old last season, and if the effects of that injury are fully behind him, India could be in for a good year.
The 2024 season has the potential to be the biggest of his career. After winning NL Rookie of the Year in 2021, India's fallen short of expectations. With so many talented infielders on the Reds roster, India needs a bounce-back season in the worst way. If not, despite the fact he's under contract for two more seasons, 2024 could still be India's final year in Cincinnati.