It feels like just a blink ago that Jonathan India was the Cincinnati Reds youth movement. Back in 2021, a club that had been on the brink in the shortened 2020 regular season turned 2B over to a rookie we’d not been able to watch for a year, and he injected the kind of life atop the order that Joey Votto, for one, credited for helping him turn back the clock a bit, energy-wise.
It seems we may have already reached the point where the roster has turned itself over on India, too.
According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Reds are willing to move India in a quest to acquire young, controllable starting pitching, the single most sought-after piece of Major League rosters attainable.
The Reds have told other teams they are willing to trade 2021 NL ROY Jonathan India for young, controllable starting pitching, per sources. Cincinnati has a glut of young infielders (Steer, De La Cruz, McLain, Encarnacion-Strand) with more on the way (Marte, Arroyo, Collier).— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 24, 2023
The influx of young infielders who can absolute knock the snot out of the ball has propelled the Reds back into contention this year, with their current (and future) starting pitching situation one of the few remaining aspects they need to address. Funny how that happens when you trade a bunch of starting pitching for young infield prospects!
India’s 98 OPS+ this season marks his second consecutive below-average year (he was at 92 during the 2022 season), though he’s on-pace to flirt with a 20/20 season that could, in theory, still have plenty of suitors. Defensive metrics have long had their issues with his play at 2B, too, and whether or not he sticks there will go a long way to determining whether the bat-work he provides will be enough to remain a regular. He’s still making league-minimum as a pre-arb player, though he’s slated to reach arbitration at season’s end - the time at which point he’ll begin to see his salary rise.
We all know that’s when the Reds will get antsy to move their players, by the way.
Buckle up for rumor week as the Reds try to patch together a pitching staff for a run this year, and beyond.