The General Manager Meetings are taking place this week. And there are already rumors swirling about the Cincinnati Reds on the trade market. Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported that Jonathan India is a “popular name among execs at the GM Meetings” as “multiple teams have inquired the Reds about his availability”, but also notes that while the Reds are willing to listen that they value him highly and aren’t motivated to move him.

Obviously no team is going to come out and say “we want to move this guy” because that kind of takes away some leverage you may have in trade discussions. But Cincinnati’s infield is packed. Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Spencer Steer, Matt McLain, Elly De La Cruz, Noelvi Marte, and Jonathan India all play the infield. Only Steer from that group has played in the outfield as a professional for more than a handful of games. Even removing Steer from the conversation there’s still one more player there than there are positions on the infield. The designated hitter does allow for some wiggle room there, though.

Given that Steer did see plenty of time in the outfield with Cincinnati in 2023, that could be part of their plan – at least for now – for 2024. That would allow them to keep India if they wanted to, as well as the other infielders, and utilize the designated hitter spot to allow everyone to be in the lineup nearly every day but not necessarily in the field every day. India played third base in college and could probably play there if asked to again, but with both Marte and De La Cruz on the infield it seems it would just make more sense that one of them plays third base on days when India is at second and to slide McLain to shortstop.

Cincinnati has options, and as the initial report from Morosi suggests – the Reds don’t have to trade him. They can keep him and everyone else and make things work because it’s now 2023 and the National League has finally caught up to the times and has the designated hitter. Without it the club may be in a different position and may have needed to look at moving an infielder, be that India or someone else.

That puts the Reds in a position to keep a higher asking price for India, or anyone else on the infield if a team comes a’callin. There’s a lot of time for Cincinnati to try and navigate it all. Spring training doesn’t begin for another four-and-a-half months. The regular season is nearly six months away. Expect this to be the first of many, many trade rumors this offseason around India, who is the only infielder the club had in 2023 that’s coming back and wasn’t a rookie last season.

125 Responses

  1. Rednat

    i put India, McCLAIN, Fraley and Stephenson in the same category. the all are talented players but can they withstand the brutality of a 162 game season. I would be hesitant to extend any of these players

    • Chris

      Did you just pull these names out of a hat? Virtually every position player on the Reds has had injury issues over the last year or two.

      • JayTheRed

        Agree with Chris this seems extremely random.

      • rednat

        Just an instinct I have. I don’t know. Steer, EDLC, Marte, Benson,CES just seem like more durable players to me. Maybe I am totally wrong

      • Amarillo

        @Rednat Stephenson’s injury was from getting hit by a ball. Anyone could get hurt that way.

    • MK

      A little unfair on Stephenson. He played in 142 games in ’23, 132 in ’21, only a freak major collarbone break held him back in ’22. It might be a little early to access that way. There could be concerns about India but the same could have been said about Eric Davis and Barry Larkin who were oft injured, even Junior during his Reds years. Guys who play al out on every play get injured.

      • Tom Diesman

        The next time Stephenson has 100 GS at C will be his first. Stephenson’s GS at C from 2015-2023 is 45,30,53,95,97,2,65,46,78.

    • Jason Franklin

      I think it is way too early to say McClain, a rookie, has a history of injury issues.

      • Melvin

        I agree. Although I hesitate greatly to extend ANYONE until they’ve proven to stay off the IL most if the time for a couple of seasons. Having said that McLain is currently my favorite player. 🙂

    • Old Big Ed

      Who is MCLAIN?

      They have an infielder named McLain.

    • AMDG

      The “brutality” of playing a game 162 days of the year?

      There are some POW camp survivors who may disagree with your usage of that word.

  2. Votto4life

    India is due a raise this winter which probably means he is the next to go.

    • JayTheRed

      Still really like India. I know his defense is not very good, but love his attitude, he plays hard, and it’s not like he is an old player. He is also a huge leader in the clubhouse and on the field. Love when he leads off. He tends to find a way to get on base so often. I think he loses some of that when he is lower in the lineup.

      • Scooter22

        I agree with JayTheRed. India’s value goes way beyond his numbers. His numbers are good when he leads off. The guy gets on base. Any team in any sport needs a leader. They need India. He’s glue in my opinion. Do not trade Jonathan India.

    • Tom

      He’s going from $1.95 million to perhaps $3 million. He has a fielding % that’s better than Da La Cruz. McClain is a better shortstop than Da La Cruz, yet they’re not interested in moving Cruz to the outfield. I like the idea of having a crowded infield. What if one of the infielders gets started poorly, will we be able to adjust?

  3. SultanofSwaff

    Despite the surplus, I’m inclined to hold onto Indy IF he takes some reps at third and first to increase his versatility. If he’s not open to it, then his team-first words won’t match his actions and the Reds should be motivated to find a better roster fit.
    Depth matters on a team with playoff aspirations, and frankly if you jettison him then you’re signaling that Barrero or a free agent (at what cost??) will be your depth piece…..not inspiring choices, right? A supersub at 3 positions would bring a lot of positive value—what’s 1.5 WAR worth on the free agent market for a guy with average defensive skills and even splits who plays multiple positions? Millions more than he’s making as a 1st year arb guy. His OPS was middle of the pack for second basemen (.800 in late and close situations)–he’s no bum!

    • Greenfield Red

      Agree SOS. If they needed him, they would have to pay much more for him than they would probably receive in trade.

      Although someone mentioned India for Chris Sale. 3yrs of India for 1 yr of Sale? Maybe is Boston pays 2/3 of Sale’s salary which would allow the Reds to still find more free agent pitching.

      • Jimbo44CN

        With Sales injuries the last couple of years? No thanks. They start dumping players like India cause they deserve a raise, and is one of the leaders on this team, then I am dumping them as a fan.

      • Mario

        jimbo, agreed. I don’t think India is a good fit unless he is willing to show some versatility. I won’t give up if they don’t sign any major free agents but I might give up if they salary dump players or if they don’t get some extensions done in the next year or two.

  4. Kevin Patrick

    Forgive me my bizarre thoughts…but is there anything preventing India from playing any outfield? Is his arm strong enough? I imagined India playing a lot of first base, but if he can play outfield…then I would have to wonder whether it makes more sense to trade Spencer Steer. How many “super-subs” does a team need? My guess is that one of McClain, DeLaCruz, Marte, Encarnacion-Strand will struggle. At that point India makes a lot of sense. Its also possible the Reds will have outfielders who struggle…India and Steer should come ready to play some outfield… Does Senzel play 1st? Seriously…with Votto’s absence there are still a lot of questions that need answered in the short term.

    • BK

      India has average speed, Steer has above average speed. India’s arm is a little below average, Steer’s arm is above average. Also, India hasn’t played OF in college or as a pro. Steer was also a much better hitter than India, has more years of control and is cheaper than India, so I’m not following the logic of how Steer is someone the Reds should be more willing to part with than India.

      I also think the term “super sub/utility” player implies a player that is good enough to warrant playing every day but versatile enough to make starts at multiple positions. Steer fit that mold last year. Having a player who can operate in that manner gives the team a lot of capability to cover injuries throughout the season.

      That’s a different concept than being able to play two positions, something several of the Reds can do, or play multiple positions but not hit well enough to deserve daily playing time (e.g., Senzel, Barrero).

      I agree that keeping India is desirable because something will happen (injuries, underperformance, etc.), and the Reds will need another starter. Also, it doesn’t hurt players to take a game off every nine games or so. Rest is important when playing almost every day for seven to eight months straight.

      As the team is currently constructed, I expect India to get a lot of DH time, as McLain and Steer are better at 2B. If India can’t play anywhere but 2B, he will be valuable unless his hitting improves. We might see him at 1B or 3B before seeing him in the OF. While he’s not unathletic, he’s less athletic than Steer, McLain, Marte, Fraley, Benson, Friedl, ELDC, and perhaps on par with CES.

      • Melvin

        “Steer’s arm is above average”

        Steer had the fourth highest arm strength on the team at 88 behind EDLC, Barrero, and Fraley.

    • AMDG

      I thought there were some rumors swirling this summer that they had India practice in OF when the youngsters started getting called up, and it didn’t exactly work that well.

      • Tom Diesman

        I read over the summer that he started taking some ground balls at 3B but don’t ever recall any mentions of him working out in the OF. I’d be interested in any references to this if anyone has them.

      • Mario

        I don’t think that happened. I could be wrong.

    • Tom

      Put Cruz in the outfield and that fills the need for a right-handed bat out there. McClain is a much higher rated shortstop. Even India’d fielding % is higher than Cruz’s. If they can sign a Candelario(sp?), then perhaps a trade is needed. What do we do if a rookie infielder or outfielder has an outstanding Spring? What if a rookie pitcher does the same? I don’t think we need to do anything out of panic.

      • Optimist

        Hard no to this. CES, McLain, EDLC, and Marte are opening day IF lineup. Of those only Marte may someday play OF, but even then unlikely.

        Plenty of ABs with a DH and occasional days off to add in Steer and the next set of youngsters.

      • Doug Gray

        Why would the Reds put Fernando Cruz in the outfield?

      • greenmtred

        I like McClain at shortstop just fine, but EDLC is very young with off-the-charts athleticism. I think it’s highly unlikely that he won’t improve and cut down his errors. The Reds have a lot of young players, young enough so that we don’t know where their learning trajectories will take them.

  5. Mark

    Agree that India plays hard, but he is a below average fielder and 250ish hitter. He is probably at peak value given his age and 3 years of major league experience. I don’t advocate giving him away, but he will have to be packaged with a top prospect to bring back a good starting pitcher. Good depth piece but I doubt he would be happy not being in the starting lineup everyday. If many teams are inquiring, that gives Krall leverage to possibly make a favorable trade.

  6. RedBB

    There is a reason why multiple GM’s are asking about India….because he has upside. I am not opposed to moving him but the price needs to be commensurate to the interest. Meaning a legit top 100 player and 1 or 2 lesser prospects OR a 4/5 Starting pitcher.

    • JaxDan

      I know the Reds were interested in Brady Singer with the Royals. I could some type of trade for these 2 players.

      I also see India+ going to Seattle for Logan Gilbert.

      • Jason Franklin

        I don’t understand the interest in Singer. Has he just not tapped his potential yet? Is there something more there?

        If you wanted just a 5th starter then he may make sense, but India is probably more valuable.

      • RedBB

        I would do Blake Mitchell and Brady Singer for India.

    • Mark

      Is he going to turn into a 275 or plus hitter and candidate for a Gold Glove in the coming years? Not likely. He is an average MLB 2nd baseman and the fact that several clubs have expressed interest plays to the Red’s advantage and points to the dearth of average 2nd basemen in the Major Leagues at this time. Having India on the team next year is not the worst thing that could happen as he would be assurance against McLain, Marte, or De La Cruz getting injured. However the Reds could sign a veteran infielder, a Newman/Farmer type that could fill that role. Pitching is our Achilles heel and I am afraid on Greene and Lodolo to pitch an entire season is wishful thinking. Package India with a top prospect and try and acquire a starting pitcher that can eat innings.

  7. Old-school

    Big India fan. I’ve maintained he does have value and with McLain and Steer and CES and Elly and Marte…he would be a candidate to trade out of the infield for an OF or pitching. Interesting off-season. Love Jon though. Devil is in the details.

  8. aaa

    A Top 100 prospect plus for a below average defensive second baseball that is basically a league average bat?
    You need to lower your expectations tremendously

  9. Melvin

    Well someone has to go sooner or later. If the Reds DO want to keep India, with his defensive liabilities both in his range and arm, 1B is the place for him. CES has a real good arm and has shown to be able to handle RF. His speed is underrated by the way. That would leave Friedl in CF, and Steer in LF. Of course this only works until Arroyo comes up. Have I mentioned #EDLCCF24? 😉 You all probably don’t remember that. 😀

    • DaveCT

      CES has had one AAA game in RF, and it was far from convincing. Same with his one game in LF. That experiment lasted 2 games, so I don’t see that viable at all.

      India getting reps at 1B/3B can help.

      • Melvin

        Just judging be what I saw and his arm strength. He did play a little with the Reds as well. You could always move Marte to the outfield and move CES to 3B. Something has to give one way or another.

    • Earmbrister

      Melvin, you’ve been banging the CES in RF drum since before he was called up to MLB. As both DaveCT and I have repeatedly pointed out, CES has TWO career starts in a corner OF spot of the entirety of his professional career. He is not a corner OFr.

      He should be the starter at 1B.

      • greenmtred

        Melvin also wants to turn EDLC into a center fielder. The Reds should probably hang onto India, since half of the infield is moving to the outfield. Maybe, in this scenario, Benson moves to first and Friedl moves to SS? They both look the part for those roles.

      • Melvin

        CES at 1B is fine with me. However, as stated earlier, there’s just not enough places for everyone to play. Something has to give. Personally I believe, after watching him play this year, that CES is underrated in his defense, range, speed, and arm. It is very feasible for him to play RF. To me he’d be much better suited playing out there than India. If CES could play out there the need for a platoon would be gone in RF. Of course that leaves the question as to what to do with Fraley and Benson. Like I said, something(s) have to give.

      • Melvin

        greenmtred/wkuchad – You guys are hilarious. 😀 In a scenario where CES and EDLC were moved to the outfield that would leave Friedl in LF. What would be left for four infield spots plus the DH would be:


        Then what should they do with Fraley and Benson? Just not enough spots. That’s an undeniable fact whether we like it or not.

      • Melvin

        When it comes to moving EDLC to CF. Yes. Without a doubt I will continue to beat the drum of him moving there especially after watching him play infield this year. It’s not because I don’t think he would play infield pretty well. For all I know he could pitch too. lol He is, however, in my mind, perfectly made to be not only a very good gold glove centerfielder, he could be a superstar there. As had been stated many times on here, someone has to move, get traded, or just plain sit the bench. Actually more than one. Krall has accumulated many short stops with the idea that some will have to move around being the good athletes that they are. EDLC in my mind is the PERFECT one to do so more than anyone else.

      • greenmtred

        Your point about EDLC is reasonable, Melvin. He certainly has the tools for that trade. I think it likely that he will become a fine shortstop, too: the mistakes I saw him make seemed to revolve around rushing and are likely correctible.

    • Mario

      you’ve mentioned it but you have failed to convince HDT Bell.

  10. MBS

    Hopefully we are adding to the team, and not subtracting from it. I am open to trading India for quality prospects, or in a MLB to MLB swap, but his bat needs to be replaced. We are not as deep as many think. I count 11 quality MLB bats, and a handful of AAAA guys like Fairchild, Senzel, and Barrero.

    • BK

      I agree, I think the Reds should be looking to add to the big league roster, so any prospects need to be big league ready.

      • Greenfield Red

        BK, I normally agree with most of what you say. But, please don’t use the term ‘major league ready’. It is the kiss of death… with the exception being Steer and CES.

      • BK

        @GR, I almost cringed when I first typed that, too. I meant they should only trade for someone to help the team in 2024, as India will. They should not trade India to build prospect capital.

  11. Jim t

    Using India as a trade chip for a starting pitcher is probably a good idea.
    Infield will probably be
    Marte. 3B
    ELDC. SS
    McClain. 2b
    CES. 1b

    Outfield shapes up as
    Steer Lf
    Freidl. CF
    Benson/Frayley. RF. Against Righthanded pitchers
    Senzel against lefties.

    Stephenson will catch with Casali his back up

    Barrera will make the team as a utility man getting some starts against lefties. Same role as Senzel.

  12. Jim t

    Using India as a trade chip for a starting pitcher is probably a good idea.

    Infield will probably be
    Marte. 3B
    ELDC. SS
    McClain. 2b
    CES. 1b

    Outfield shapes up as
    Steer Lf
    Freidl. CF
    Benson/Frayley. RF. Against Righthanded pitchers
    Senzel against lefties.

    Stephenson will catch with Casali his back up

    Barrera will make the team as a utility man getting some starts against lefties. He can play infield and outfield Same role as Senzel.

    DH will be rotated based on rather a righty or lefty is pitching.

    • west larry

      Didn’t they release Casali? I think you mean Malie, however you spell his name II hate to lose India, but if he and a good prospect bring a very good starting pitcher, like Beiiber from Cleveland, make the trade.

      • Jim t

        @Larry you are correct. I did mean Maile. Thanks for pointing it out.

  13. Curtis

    I believe the team executives want India to be on the team, the question is does India want to be on the team as a rotational player. As mentioned l, he is a leader, but a disgruntled leader can be a big negative in the clubhouse. If he isn’t fully on board with the rotational aspect then the best scenario would be to find a workable trade.

    • Jim t

      India is a nice trade chip at this time. His value is that he can fill a need and he is not a starting player with the youth movement underway. He also is a team controlled player at this time which can increase his trade value. He also is someone the reds will not be signing long term if the prospects develop. Using him to fill a need is the right move in my opinion

      • Amarillo

        That’s only if a need can be filled by trading him. His trade value isn’t high enough to fetch a consistent Starter.

        As Doug wrote in the article, we have 6 Infielders, Steer can play anywhere, and someone can DH. Someone is likely always going to be injured, so there is plenty of room for everyone.

      • Jim t

        @Amarillo you may have to add a prospect to the deal to get the player that fills our need

  14. Klugo

    Honestly, I think Elly should start the season in AAA. Get as much as you can out of India. Trade him when EDLC is ready.

    • Still a Red

      I dunno about starting EDLC in AAA, but I agree he has not yet established himself like I think McLain and Steer have…and CES and Marte probably do not have enough ABs to know what they have at the major league level. I think you keep India at 2B and alternate McLain at 2nd (when EDLC is playing in the field) and SS when he’s not. EDLC needs better pitch recognition and he needs to be managed until he finds it. Unless you can get a MLBer pitcher (or another lefty slugger to replace the Votto of old), I say you keep India for now.

  15. Harry Stoner

    I think India’s approach to the plate was more compromised by Bell juggling him around the lineup…or his reaction to it…. than by potential shifting of defensive positions.

    I can’t really downgrade him for the 2022 season where he often played hurt and was part of a roster with a chaotic series of changes.

    He still contributed.

    Last India was looking just as susceptable to the down and away sliders that so flummoxed some of the Reds’s younger hitters (EDLC, Barerro, Stephenson and often Steer, even.)

    I don’t recall seeing that so often in his previous seasons, but I could be wrong. Maybe there was a team contagion, or the sliders just got better in 2023.

    With CES, Marte, Steer and a rejuvenated Stephenson I’d enjoy seeing India once again as an OB machine, the guy that other hitters are driving in rather than counting on him to be a high production RBI guy.

    Despite a dipping BA, India still had a pretty productive season all things considered.

    The “fast guy playing centerfield is automatically the leadoff hitter” is a tradition, but I’d also like to see India returned to leadoff if he remains with the team in 2024.

    Friedl, for example, hit considerably better in the #2 spot than he did leading off.

    Lots of options out there, but India, Friedl, Marte, CES, Steer, Stephenson looks like a pretty solid core lineup sequence. YMMV.

    Of course, Bell, can’t seem to set the same lineup more than a game or two in a row, but that’s another discussion.

    I’m not opposed to India being traded, but losing both India and Votto in the clubhouse will likely leave a void some other folks will really need to step up to fill.

    I’d honestly be surprised if India is dealt, but sure, it could happen.

    It will be interesting to see how the Bull performs as a shopper in comparison with his skills selling off or unloading assets.

    • Old Big Ed

      You guys would blame David Bell for famine in Mozambique.

      India gets into periods where he appears to be overswinging. By doing so, he tends to pull his left shoulder out, and he leaves himself vulnerable to sliders, low and away. Almost all hitters (good and bad) have problems with a well-thrown low-and-away sliders. The book on Nick Castellanos is to pound hims with sliders, low and away. Johnny Bench had the same issue. If Johnny Bench struggled with that pitch, it shouldn’t be difficult to see why Jose Barrero can’t help himself or why Jonathan India is vulnerable to the same pitch.

      I like India, but unless his bat steps up, they really have no place to play him. His OPS+ last year was 100, or exactly league average, which is not good enough for a left-fielder. McLain is better with the bat and with glove at 2B. Marte is going to play 3B, because he slashed .316/.366/.456 in the Majors at age 21, whereas India at 21 was a Florida Gator and then hit .229 in Low A ball. CES is a better option at 1B, and Spencer Steer is a better hitter (OPS+ of 119 in 2023) than India and a better option in LF.

      India, if not traded, needs to bring several gloves to spring training. Maybe he could play right field. He is not slow, and he is a very good base runner without being particularly fast. I can’t say that I’ve seen any evidence of a weak arm, but RF does require at least an average arm. The RF in GABP is not very big, and they could get away with a mediocre defensive RF at home. They played Castellanos there, after all.

      I don’t mind guys changing positions, especially with a spring training to work on it.

  16. Still a Red

    I’d like to challenge the “India is a leader” meme. I’m not saying he’s not, but what does that mean objectively. All we have to go on really is that he was willing to step up to the plate and try, and he does show good emotion on the field and perhaps in the dugout. But do the other players look to him for motivation, for help through a rough patch, does he keep the locker room fired up, loose? Does his on field performance inspire, such as always coming through in the clutch? Many thought perhaps that Pete Rose was the leader of the Big Red Machine, but all the accolades internally seemed to go to Perez.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Just my 2 cents but there’s a number of stories about India taking younger players under his wing and pushing them…..McClain comes to mind. Helping a guy who wants your job is rather selfless imo.

      I’m open to other thoughts, but after reading ‘The Machine’ it’s my sense that Pete and Joe kind of ruled the roost with Doggie sort of the sargeant-at-arms. To me it spoke volumes that Rose would take the initiative to show newbies (including black players) the ropes and take them out suit shopping and such.

      • David

        As an old Reds fan, I see parallels between India and Helms. Helms was better defensively and when traded people were concerned we had traded a team leader. Morgan filled in just fine. Sometimes you just need others to step up.

    • gusnwally

      Red, I have seen Spencer Steer on 3 occasions refer to India as the team leader and glue. He also stated that management did not tell the team that David Bell had been extended. They told India and had him break it to the team. I would like to see the Reds play all of them. They all get a day off every so often and can all play various positions. Like most on here tho, I fear you know who cannot figure it out.

  17. SultanofSwaff

    Off topic, but mlbtraderumors was discussing Erik Fedde. He’s a free agent SP who just won the Korean cy young award. He had a 2.00 ERA with a 70% ground ball rate and is 31. Former #18 overall pick. I dunno, he seems to fill a need at a price point the Reds can afford. Who knows, he could be our Miles Mikolas…….

    • Old Big Ed

      Yeah, I saw that, too. Why not? Love the ground-ball rate.

      They need about 900 innings covered by starters, and that will take about 8 guys, even without major injuries.

      • Tom Diesman

        To have 900 IP covered by starters is a lofty goal. The Reds were 23rd in MLB last year with 787IP. MLB league average was 833 IP. Only the Mariners (901.3) and the Astros (900) achieved 900 IP by starters last season.

      • Melvin

        I think part of it is too that you have to have a manager that will allow that to happen.

      • Tom Diesman

        In regards to SP pitching more innings, I ran across the following that MLB is looking at implementing to get teams to leave SP in longer, past the 3rd time through the lineup thing: “During the World Series, commissioner Rob Manfred said he would be willing to reduce the maximum size of a pitching staff from 13 pitchers to 12 as a way to help restore starters to prominence. ”

        Manfred made mention that there were 8 teams below the 800 IP mark for SP. That number is 5 IP for 32 GS or 160 IP in a season for each of 5 SP in the rotation.

        I want to see the SP pitch more, as they are typically your best pitchers, but I don’t know that I want to see them move the staff size back to 12 from 13.

      • BK

        The trend is nearly universal across baseball now–it’s certainly not limited to the Reds. Everyone closely following the Reds knew they needed to add a quality starting pitcher before 2023. Instead, they added Weaver.

        I wrote a little about this at RML today, but the problem is that managers/teams are more focused than ever on exploiting every possible tactical advantage within a game. Thus, we’re seeing managers pull starters when they hit the third time through lineups, something typically reserved for playoff games in the past. Also, openers and bullpen days are rising trends, making apples-to-apples comparisons with past seasons more challenging.

        I would seem a better incentive would be to tie a team’s ability to use the DH with the starting pitcher completing perhaps 5 or 6 innings–something like this would disincentivize bullpen days and openers and depending on where the threshold was set, the early pulling of starters.

  18. Optimist

    India is very valuable, and likely at peak value. All these comments accurately recite the Reds infield surplus and defensive alignments. Finally, it’s usually unwise to trade offense for pitching, and vice-versa.

    Still, some of the names and rumors indicate India could return a very good, proven MLB starter, and given the Reds budget policy, they may find that irresistible.

    • wkuchad

      I disagree India is at peak value. I’m guessing he’s at his lowest value of the last couple of years.

      I’m torn on India. I’m a big fan and love how hard he plays. I think he’s likely a good influence on the younger guys. But I’m ready for McLain to be our fulltime 2B in 2024.

      I would love to keep India if he agree to some positional flexibility in 2024 – some 2B, 3B, 1B, and maybe LF, but doubtful this will happen.

      I’m also good to trade him only if we’re getting something in return to make the 2024 team better. I don’t want to give India away or trade for low level prospects.

      • Optimist

        That’s part of why he’s at peak value – he’s plateaued a bit, but when he plays he’d clearly fine, and the underlying stats remain very strong. To the extent some team also values the clubhouse effects, all the more value.

        He’s controllable for a few years, and at peak age.

        I’d still prefer to keep him, but I can see the Reds looking at the pitching free agents vs. what they’d get in a trade.

    • Redsvol

      It’s all about improving the team. If we can get a useful major league piece for India then I hope we move him. There are too many infielders of equal or better value to India.

      I don’t subscribe to India being an irreplaceable leader. We need bona fide relief pitching, outfielders and starters.

      His hitting has regressed and his fielding at 2nd has never been good. Watching the playoffs convinced me that he is so far below a playoff caliber 2nd baseman.
      If India wants to learn a new position then he has value. If he won’t budge off 2nd base then I would say his value is greater to someone else than the Reds. Can’t fall in love with a player of this quality.

      • greenmtred

        Few people are truly irreplaceable, and we aren’t in a position to know whether he’s an important leader or not, though some comments from younger players referenced above and the team’s visible reaction the day he returned from the IL certainly tend to support the idea that he is.

  19. Seth

    This has nothing to do with this article but does anyone think that if joey votto signs with another team the reds could trade for him at the deadline

    • Votto4life

      Votto still has 5/10 rights to veto any trade. I don’t think he would agree to it. In his video, he was very careful not to Thank the Castellinis or the Reds front office.

      Besides, he won’t be earning league minimum, which puts him outside the Red’s price range.

      • BK

        @V4L, Votto would only retain his no-trade status as a 10/5 player with the Reds. Once he signs with another team, he no longer meets the “5” aspect of the rule. as he will no longer have 5 consecutive years with the same team. From MLB’s Glossary:

        “10/5Players who have accrued 10 years of Major League service time and spent the past five consecutive years with the same team are awarded 10-and-5 rights. Under these circumstances, a player can veto any trade scenario that is proposed.”

      • Votto4life

        BK thanks for the clarification. I don’t think a team would trade him to somewhere he didn’t want to go. Regardless, I think he would retire before returning to the Reds organization under current leadership.

      • BK

        That’s a really interesting take given how quickly and how genuinely Votto thanked the Reds, fans, and city for their support.

      • Votto4life

        Watch his video more carefully. He thanked the Reds in a general way. He did not express appreciation to The Castellinis or Nick Krall. In fact, he made it a point to thank the “Red’s staff”. But believe what you want.

      • BK

        @V4L, Votto has contradicted your assertion multiple times over multiple years. I believe him.

      • Votto4life

        @BK you seem to think Joey will be picked by the Reds at the deadline next season. Would you care to wager?

      • BK

        @V4L, Here are the words you put in Joey Votto’s mouth, “Regardless, I think he would retire before returning to the Reds organization under current leadership.”

        Your assertion is not supported by Votto’s many public statements. I loved Votto as a player and a Red. I wish him well and you well. I’m truly sorry you are disappointed.

      • Votto4life

        @BK I take that to mean you don’t believe Joey will return in a deadline deal. Which is exactly what I posted.

      • BK

        @V4L, I would have never responded if that’s all you posted. Like you, I have a lot of respect for Votto.

      • Old Big Ed

        The video was directed at the fans. Votto had done a phone interview with C. Trent and the rest of the regular Reds press corps the prior day.

        In that press interview, Votto complemented Bob Castellini and the whole organization: “I have been given every last opportunity by everybody involved with the organization. I’ve been supported and respected steadily throughout my 20-plus years as a Red.” And, as to an official send off, he said: “I’m very satisfied that the team never prompted anything like that [meaning the standing Os and treatment the fans gave him on the last day.]”

      • greenmtred

        Votto reportedly likes and respects Bell and is excited about the youthful energy and style of play the Reds have.

    • Melvin

      I could actually see that happening. Haha

  20. Gaffer

    The Reds should have plenty of money to sign or trade for larger salaries. I like the idea of trading India for a decent pitcher who makes middle of the league money. Maybe get a prospect too but they don’t need to make the kind of trades they made the last 3 years (proven MLB for multiple prospects). It’s time to start to make a decent pitching staff and see if the offense can do it.

    • Votto4life

      I think Reds are more likely trade India for a couple 18 year olds. Have to avoid those peaks and valleys.

  21. JB

    I don’t like the thought of you guys just tossing guys to the outfield or playing first base. Defense is still a big part of the game and some of you want to just automatically put guys in the outfield thinking nothing about defense. Bell Put CES in the outfield last year because nobody else was on the bench after his moves of pinch hitting or pinch running. Marte has never played the outfield or 2nd base. India I believe has never played first or the outfield. EDLC I believe has never played the outfield. This isn’t little league where you just put guys at a position so everybody plays. Heck you might as well see if any of them can catch. Seattle needs a 3rd baseman because Geno isn’t getting it done. Seattles window is opening. They have some starting Pitching. Ask about Gilbert and see what it takes.

    • MBS

      I both agree and disagree with you. In an ideal world you have an outfielder playing outfield, and a SS play SS. That’s not the route the Reds are headed in. Krall went deep into the SS position because he wanted the best athletes so that they could transition to other positions when the need arises.

      That means we’re likely to have a SS at SS (EDLC), 2B (McLain), 3B (Marte), and various OF positions if Barrero sticks around, and Arroyo joins the group.

      To be fair it was a way better plan than DW’s, with his 5 3B’s starting all over the field.

    • BK

      I like that the Reds have both targeted more athletic players and have played most of the newcomers at more than one position in the minors. WRT good athletes, if the Reds want to transition someone, the offseason is the time to do it so Spring Training can serve as the finishing school by providing in-game experience.

      The Reds seem to be content with the versatility they have. India was a 3B in college. Reacclimating him to 3B or having him learn 1B should be in the realm of the possible. India is probably the Red’s third-best second baseman behind McLain and Steer. He needs to be a little more versatile than he is today, but that doesn’t mean he should be an outfielder.

    • Melvin

      Moving guys around is the position the Reds have put themselves into. There are only seven places for them to play, unless they want to make some of them pitchers and/or catchers. lol Eight if you want to count the DH. The idea has been mostly to find the best athletes which are usually short stops. The theory being that short stops can play most anywhere. I agree with this to a large degree. The only other options are trade em or bench em.

      • BK

        I see nine guys to fill eight lineup spots listed in no particular order with positions played at the MLB level:

        1. Benson (OF)
        2. Friedl (OF)
        3. Fraley (OF)
        4. Marte (3B/SS)
        5. EDLC (SS/3B)
        6. McLain (2B/SS)
        7. CES (1B/3B)
        8. Steer (LF/RF/1B/2B/3B)
        9. India (2B)

        Fraley and Benson are strong-side platoon players. Everyone else hitting profiles indicate they do not need a platoon partner.

        Honest question … why do you keep saying something has to give? What’s wrong with having one extra player to cover eight positions?

      • Melvin

        I don’t mind one extra player. The “rotation” last year was just fine with me. We don’t even have Votto in the mix this time. What about Arroyo? He was hitting well in AA and if that continues he’ll be up before you know it after some time in AAA like the rest of them. He’s supposed to be the current “best SS” after it was Barrero, EDLC, etc. 🙂 There are others who will probably be knocking on the door soon too. Promotions are moving fast and there’s just not enough room for everyone. That’s all I’m saying. As I said a little while ago I think Krall will most likely “mix and match” with the guys he already has rather than spend a lot of money. If so that requires position movement. I like Fraley and Benson but given a choice I’d rather have non platooning going on most of the time.

      • MBS

        @Melvin, I agree with you, promotions should be coming fast. Arroyo, Dunn, Hurtubise, and Hinds could all factor into 24. I just wouldn’t make that a plan. Let’s load for bear in 24, and let the players sort themselves out.

        Plus if India stays in the mix, and Arroyo comes up, might that open the door for EDLC to CF?

      • Melvin

        MBS – Yeah. It’s quite obvious things will have to change a change soon. There’s no getting around it. As BK said in a previous post the off season and spring training is the time to do it. Why they’re not planning on that at the moment I have no idea. At least they say they’re not.

  22. redfanorbust

    As much as I like India and the team leader and all that, this club needs first and foremost SP and arguably in any order, power hitting RH OF and bullpen help. India’s situation, that is well documented, is redundant at his position and is not even the best player there. Reds should not be thinking about keeping someone because it’s nice to have depth or try and get that player to learn another position on the fly while he is a below average defender at his natural position to begin with. We are looking to compete for playoffs/division title and obviously more in 24. I think Reds are somewhat posturing when they say the probably won’t trade India just to build up his trade value. If a trade for India or India + is made it can not be for anyone speculative or history of injuries. The same goes for free agent signings. Our situation now is vastly different from when getting those types of players would have been enough or expected.

  23. Kevin Patrick

    Despite the Reds needing a pitcher, I’m a big believer in position player for position player trades…or likewise pitcher for pitcher. If India is traded, which I’m not sure he should be, it should be for a legit catching prospect. This is why I wonder whether the smarter chip to trade could theoretically be Spencer Steer. Whichever player brings back the nicer return is who I might pull the trigger on. I think having both on the roster could be a redundant role. I’m of the opinion the Reds need to go to free agency for bullpen and or starter help.

    • BK

      What’s wrong with pitcher for position player trades?

      • Melvin

        That’s always been a “thing” and I’ve never quite understood it myself. I’m open to explanations.

      • Optimist

        At the basic level you fill one need but open another. Beyond that, to the extent you don’t have a need, trade from surplus. The Reds are sort of in that position (plenty of infielders) but the neater trade is an infielder for an outfielder.

      • Harry Stoner

        The Reds traded Castillo for Marte and Arroyo.

        They traded Mahle for Steer and CES.

        They traded Moreta for Newman.

        Reds received Williamson, Phillips and Dunn, along w Fraley for Geno and Winker.

        RLN fans heap praise on Bull Krall’s trading acumen.

        Did he break the rule?

  24. Andy

    Roll with:
    3B Marte (backup EDLC, Senzel)
    SS EDLC (backup McLain, Marte)
    2B McLain (backup India, Senzel)
    1B India (backup CES. Steer)
    DH CES (backup Steer, Fraley)
    LF Steer (backup Fraley, Senzel)
    CF Friedl (backup Senzel, Benson)
    RF Benson (backup Fraley, Senzel)

    Only way I’d trade India is if Reds first (or simultaneously) obtained a significant OF upgrade, think Soto. I would target pitching first, but think a big OF bat is also worth pursuing.

    • Melvin

      I’ll believe it when I see it as to the Reds spending a good deal of money this winter. I think Big Bob loves it that Krall is able to put together a competitive team WITHOUT spending a lot. I’d be more inclined to believe that Krall will more or less make due with what he has. Not spending is what got Krall his promotion.

    • Mark Moore

      This accounts for 12 of 13 on the non-pitching side of the roster. Who is your #13?

      I’d be in favor of moving India to 1B with the configuration you note above. I think he can manage that transition.

      • Melvin

        India at 1B makes sense to me if we’re going to keep him. He’s probably the worst of the bunch defensively and the least versatile. According baseballsavant he had a 79.1 arm strength rating last year which puts him next to last of guys with a minimum 100 throws. The only one be beat was Votto at 75.5. He was just behind Newman with 81.6. 1B seems the perfect spot for him.

      • Andy

        Someone that knows their role is bench bat, and be productive without starting. Fairchild is fine and could provide some baserunning, Votto could work if he accepts role, even a third catcher might work (because I’d always want a starting catcher rotation; if/when Stephenson or Maile is hurt, the third C slides into the starting rotation.) I don’t want #13 to take starts from the other 12 unless they are hurt.

  25. Hotto4Votto

    If the Reds got a really strong offer for India, I would think they’d have to consider it. At the end of the day he’s a league average-ish hitter and a below average defender who’s set to start getting more expensive while there’s a logjam of good (and cheaper) options at his position.

    At the same time, I don’t think playing time as the roster stands is that big of an issue or a reason to trade off a solid clubhouse leader and player just to open space. Just looking at the math, assuming six games a week and excluding the catcher position there’s 48 “starts” a week across 7 field positions and the DH. 9 players can get 5 starts a week with 3 starts remaining. A scenario where CES, McLain, India, EDLC, Marte, Steer, Fraley Friedl, and Benson start 5 out of every 6 games is completely feasible.

    The only way a log jam of playing time really exists would be in the instance the Reds bring in a starting caliber FA (outfielder most likely). But even then I think it can be worked around. Especially with some of the platoon splits and mid-game defensive switches available. Of course this assumes everyone is healthy, which for depth purposes it’s never too bad to have too many solid big leaguers on your squad.

  26. Jim t

    Bottom line is this. If you can improve the club my dealing India you do it.

  27. Rob

    Gets a little tired hearing about who on the Reds is “drawing trade interest”. I would suggest there are a lot of players on the Reds who could draw interest if their name was thrown out there. And truth is that the Reds have one of most imbalanced teams (young vs old and IFs vs OFs and Ps) that there is. We have a total excess of young IFs and young starting pitchers vs “seasoned” starting pitchers and non platoon OF bats. IMO, the Reds ought to be the team that is the aggressor on the trade market. We need 1-2 170 innning mid level (healthy) starting pitchers We need a non platoon heavy hitting OF. We don’t need 6-7-8 young IFs or 6 young starting pitchers, none of who can pitch more than 120-140 innings. We have powerful trade assets who could get us any available player out there. Yes, yes, it would require paying mid to high level 3-4 year contracts to 2-3 guys…..but we have that money in Moose and Votto’s exits. I would be targeting 2-3 guys like Aaron Nola, Lane Thomas, Jazz Chisolm, Cody Bellinger, etc. Not $10M scrap heap guys like Myers, Pham, Minor, Drury, etc. The trade market is our wheelhouse. I don’t care what 2026 holds. We have an abundance of talent. Just not the right fits for 2024. Nick is the one who should be picking up the phone and doing the inquiring about who he is interested in. Call the Marlins and ask about Chisolm and Garrett. Etc. Etc. We have plenty of pieces other teams would love to have. We can afford to trade IFs and starting pitchers. We were the worst team in the NL Central after August 1 because we had tired injured starting pitchers.

  28. old-school

    Enquirer beat writer Wittenmyer is basically the mouthpiece for Scott boras and quotes Boras as saying the Reds have 5 good infielders and most teams only have 2 the caliber of the Reds. Wittenmyer saying sources says lots of teams want India and Senzel will be non tendered unless a minor trade is made. Also says the reds will look to sign a mid tier SP at 2-3 years. Boras too involved with Reds…id get rid of Senzel simply because hes not that good and trade India because hes not a great infielder and Reds need to divest of Boras clients except the great ones which is McLain.

    • Doug Gray

      I feel like I say this every year but people lose their minds over players who hire Scott Boras to get them the best contracts. Boras is not a problem. He’s almost never been the problem except for when you are a cheapskate owner, and even then Boras is the solution because you can blame him for your cheapness by stating the player wasn’t “affordable”.

      • old-school

        Disagree Doug…when you have most of your infield represented by the same agent…thats a problem….Elly, McLain, Senzel, and India are all represented by the same guy. He recognizes that too and why hes lobbying publicly for his guys saying Reds infield has 5 guys better than most teams 2.

      • Doug Gray

        So what? What does him lobbying for his guys do? Nothing. It does nothing.