Reds not anxious to trade Jonathan India anytime soon
While having a bounce-back 2023 season, plus prospect Elly De La Cruz creeping up on making his Reds debut, teams are checking in on the availability of Reds infielder Jonathan India. But the Reds aren’t anxious to move him, according to ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan.
That’s not to say Cincinnati is completely opposed to talks, few players around the league are truly “untouchable” in negotiations; players like Ronald Acuna Jr., Aaron Judge, and Shohei Ohtani are players that would be the aforementioned untouchable category.
India will be eligible for arbitration at the end of the year and isn’t slated to reach free agency until after the 2026 campaign, per Spotrac.
The Reds have very little money on the books beyond this season, so it should not have any issue accommodating India’s arbitration salaries. With Cincinnati extending Hunter Greene for six-years, $53 million, it appears its focusing on keeping their young talent to help rebuild the franchise, a very positive sign for the fanbase.
India has been a hot commodity for the Reds for his entire professional career. In 2021, the 24-year-old rookie had an amazing year, hitting .269 with 21 home runs, 69 RBIs, an OPS of .835 and an OPS+ of 116. The 2021 NL Rookie of the Year had a down season in 2022, spending some time on the injured list and sported a mere .706 OPS with a 92 OPS+ in just 103 games.
India is having a strong comeback start to the 2023 season, and has closely resembled his 2021 play. Through 57 games, India is slashing .278/.368/.431 through 57 games, adding 15 doubles, six home runs and 26 RBIs.
India has also shown great discipline as a player his whole career and he’s taken that to career-best heights. India’s sports a quality 10.3 percent walk rate and has cut his strikeouts to a personal-low 18.2 percent clip, good for the 74nd percentile in the MLB. His chase rate is in the 93rd percentile and his whiff rate is in the 84th percentile, per Statcast. India is doing all of this while making contact on a career-high 83.7 percent of his swings.
All that said, one possible threat to India’s stay in Cincinnati is De La Cruz, who has been on an absolute tear as of late in Triple-A Louisville. He’s slashing .303/.401/.648 with 11 home runs, 33 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 34 games. In the month of May, De La Cruz hit 10 home runs, becoming the No. 4 prospect in MLB.
With the Reds already calling up the red-hot Matt McLain at shortstop, there may be little room left for India in the infield.
It’s more likely than not that the Reds want to keep India.
In a weak NL Central, a call up for De La Cruz could push the 26-31 Reds into a possible Wild Card spot. While that’s a long shot, given their post-’23 payroll flexibility and a farm system with plenty of upper minors talent, the Reds could more seriously angle for postseason contention as soon as next year.
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