Jonathan India has reportedly been on the trade block since the season came to an end. Or at least that’s what all of the rumors say. And it sort of makes sense that the Cincinnati Reds would be looking to move an infielder given that they have more players than positions to put them in. Late on Thursday night Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported that Cincinnati is discussing India in a potential trade with three to four teams and that those talks are active. He’s also reporting that no deal is “close as of this hour”.
Sometimes trade talks go nowhere. And sometimes those talks move quickly. When it comes to the Reds, sometimes things come out of nowhere as they tend to keep things close to the vest – but it appears that for now we’re hearing the rumors.
India, who won the 2021 National League Rookie of the Year award, hasn’t been able to repeat his performance he had in his debut season. Relatively healthy all season in 2021, India played in 150 games, hit 34 doubles and 21 homers while putting up an OPS of .832. In each of the last two seasons he’s missed time with injuries – playing just 103 and 119 games. And in each of those seasons he’s struggled to hit nearly as well as he did as a rookie, putting up a .705 and a .746 OPS in the last two years.
India, who came up through college and the minor leagues as a third baseman, has played exclusively at second base in the big leagues with the Reds when he wasn’t serving as the team’s designated hitter. And the defensive metrics, while not in total agreement about how bad of a defender he is, are in agreement that he’s a below-average defender.
That could be a part of the reason that he is the player we’re hearing the rumors about instead of some of the other infielders the team has. Matt McLain, Elly De La Cruz, Noelvi Marte, and Spencer Steer are all capable of playing multiple spots on the field and have already done so in the big leagues. That’s not to say that India couldn’t potentially play second base as well as third base, but the team also hasn’t asked him to while they have asked just about everyone else to. Toss in that he’s not exactly been a good hitter – though he hasn’t been a bad one, either – and you can see where Cincinnati’s front office may be more willing to try and move him than the others.
From the other side of things, though, a team could be quite interested in acquiring India, too. Health may be one of the reasons that he hasn’t been able to repeat what he did as a rookie. And while there’s something to being able to remain on the field, it’s not like India is continuing to have the same recurring injury. He’s also entering an age where historically players have been in their prime. An acquiring team may think there’s plenty left in the tank and that they are buying low on a guy who had an All-Star caliber year just a few years ago and has still been solid in the time since.