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.

90 Responses

  1. Melvin

    I’d rather it be him than any of the rookies.

    • Colorado Red

      Depends on who they get. If it is part of a deal to bring an ACE, It might be worth it.

      • JayTheRed

        If it brings any #1,2,3, type starting pitcher as a overall multipiece trade then I am all for it. We don’t need a backend starting pitcher.

      • MK

        I would think maybe a top end reliever and a mid level pitching prospect might be more realistic if Jonathon is the centerpiece of a trade

      • Oldtimer

        No way does trading India bring back Ace SP.

  2. LDS

    Not too surprising. It would be interesting to know with whom they are talking and about what. Hopefully, it would be for a productive ML’er not more prospect capital. It may take something extra besides India. Still, a solid pitcher or outfielder would be a big help.

    • Harold

      Nick Krall has done pretty well with young talent that he has traded for. We need to continue with young players who are or will be major league ready soon. Let Nick be Nick and we will be OK. We don’t need retreads but continue to build this team. We could be only 1 year or 2 from something big.

      • LDS

        I’m not 5hat optimistic. There are young, established players that could help, e.g., Cease, Verdugo, etc. Not necessarily all stars but solid, productive ML’ers. More prospects simply kicks the competitive threshold further out. But I guess that works for ownership-the fans come out to see the young guys and the group gets richer.

      • Optimist

        If you run the trade simulator, India for Verdugo is a good starting point – India worth a bit more, basically same age, etc.. Verdugo doesn’t have split disadvantage, but is costly in final arb year, so he’d be a single year acquisition. Red Sox would need to add some MiLB pitchers to make this deal happen, but they need 2b filled.

      • Tom Diesman

        Verdugo? Why? Fraley > Verdugo.

      • Optimist

        Splits, Tom, splits. And compare the stats, Verdugo is arguably better, if not much better.

        The argument against Verdugo is a single season, and is he passing his peak, and how do Fenway and GABP compare for park effect?

      • Tom Diesman

        Verdugo hits .259/.315/.350/.665 against LHP. He needs platooned as does Fraley. Verdugo has less power and doesn’t steal bases. He’s more expensive and a one year rental. What split of his makes up for this?

      • Optimist

        We all understand Bell loves the platoon game, but there’s no argument that Fraley’s splits match Verdugo’s. The Reds are supposedly interested in Candelario and his career line doesn’t match Verdugo’s weaker split line – 259/.315/.350/.665.

        Would you trade Fraley for Verdugo straight up?

        Verdugo is simply better across the board than Fraley. Again, the downsides are a single season, and the salary for the single season, but those work against each other to a great extent.

      • Tom Diesman

        Nope, Fraley > Verdugo. Reds should be concentrating their efforts and resources on acquiring players they don’t already have 2 better versions of.

      • Optimist

        Wow – OK – you’re not trading Fraley. Next . . .

  3. Erich

    In other news TJ Friedl received an MVP vote! Get it TJ!

    • wkuchad

      Wow, that’s surprising. I’d pick Steer as my Reds MVP in 2023, but yes Friedl had a great year. I hope he can repeat it!

      • Stock

        I would pick Friedl by far as my MVP. His attitude reminds me of Pete Rose.

  4. CI3J

    I absolutely would package India with some prospects and either Williamson or Phillips if it could land a young, established MLB starting pitcher in return.

    • Rut

      Issue there is what team is in win-now mode (hence needs India), and yet still looking to trade an established above average SP?

      My fear is said team (should we find one) is dumping their worn down vet and smart enough to figure that Williamson, Phillips, or even Petty will out perform him this next season.

      That’s why I hesitate to package India plus youth for a SP. And not sure India has enough value on own to bring back the SP we would need.

    • Optimist

      What is it about Williamson that is not a “young established MLB starting pitcher”?

      • Optimist

        23 starts, 117ip, 102 ERA+. May not be an ace, or #2 rotation level, yet, but he’s young enough, and that’s a good foundation to establish. Do you have someone else in mind?

    • MK

      Need to stick to the plan. Keep the young guys. They have ccrewed up in the past when they change horses mid-stream.

  5. William

    I would trade India for a backend starting pitcher. You cannot have enough pitching. Get the best deal possible. He appears to be the best trade option for the Reds. They do not spend much and will not get to World Series without much better pitching.

  6. DaveCT

    India has injury issues. McLain has durability issues. Elly has contact issues. Together they have consistency issues. I don’t see the problem in keeping all three for the middle infield, in light of injuries, slumps, & wear and tear.

    With India, McLain and Elly at SS snd 2B and Marte, CES and (as needed) Elly at 3B and 1B, with the DH, there will be plenty of at bats for all five.

    The outfield is in similar waters, Friedl, Steer, Benson, Fraley and one-two of Fairchild, Barrero, and Senzel, perhaps Hopkins.

    This is consistently being played as a deficit. Instead, it is a strength, and exactly the type of team vs individual atmosphere the club is building.

    Help from below isn’t coming soon in the mold of last year’s rookies, with all due respect to Arroyo, Dunn, and Hurtubise. Further, it’s going to be quite awhile before we see an Elly or Marte arrive. Think Duno in Arizona or Cabrera in Lo-A.

    Keep the hitters. Find other ways to acquire the pitching. But don’t create a vacuum unnecessarily. It’s self defeating.

    • Greenfield Red

      I have to agree Only trade JI if a team is willing to substantially overpay with an establised starting pitcher, and then be sure the physical is beyond thorough before accepting said pitcher.

      • JayTheRed

        Problem with that is that FA cost a lot more money in most cases. This team is cheap they are going to try to do it the least expensive way possible.

        It would be nice to just get some good FA to plug into holes. This team does not typically play that game.

    • MBS

      That’s my thinking as well. The only caveat is if India or any other bat is traded it needs to be replaced with another bat via FA. So if it’s easier to sign a bat ie Soler, than it is to sign an arm ie Snell, then trading for an arm makes sense at that point.

      I count 11 good bats, and I’d really like 12. The 1st priority is to add a front of the rotation starter, a setup man / closer. Then the 12th bat, followed another good bullpen option.

      If they trade India to get that arm I’d add 1 more FA bat to get the number of quality bats to 12. I know it sounds like a lot, but we’re talking a $100M team more or less depending on who they sign. We were 80 some million last year. If we go backwards in payroll after they said they made more money than expected last year, and planed on reinvesting it, I’ll be pretty upset.

      • DaveCT

        Given this manifestation of the hitters for 2024, and the way players are utilized in this system, 12 productive bats doesn’t sound like a lot to me at all. 13 is better, too. Why not? They are young, inexpensive, controllable and, largely good. And getting better.

        I don’t follow other teams much, Seattle mostly, my new/old local team. The Red Sox some. So I don’t know the individual players well. I do know, a high strikeout guy with a big hr bat doesn’t fit. It probably detracts, I did like picking up Bader and Renfro to add some experience and power, and, in theory, take pressure of the young folk. I actually though Votto did some of that, given the power he did provide. Martini could be that hitter, as MK has stated. Senzel hit 13 HR’s last year, so one last dance with him could possibly be that ‘veteran’ with pop. I have no idea why we picked up Thompson. We shall see.

  7. Esteban

    They also have to consider he’s a great team leader. Those are hard to come by.

  8. Gaffer

    Least performing, worst defensive, most expensive player on a team overstocked with infielders. Least surprising. If they don’t trade him, likely don’t resign him.

    • wkuchad

      I was wondering that – if the Reds don’t trade India, is there a chance we don’t offer arbitration for 2024?

      I prefer to keep India and rotate players, but I’m fine with a trade if it improves the 2024 team. I certainly don’t want to give India away or let him walk>

      • DaveCT

        Arbitration benefits both player and club very well. Forget the money for a second. Arbitration resolved things — always a plus — and is binding. Its not fun, but no arbitration is. It simply resolved things so parties can move on.

  9. TR

    Whatever is the result of these rumors, the fact is the Reds need an established starting pitcher to stabilize their young staff. India, along with Senzel and others, could get it done.

    • wkuchad

      India and Senzel packaged together is not going to get the Reds the level of starting pitching that we need.

      • Dan

        Senzel has negative value, I’m afraid. And I think he’s likely to get non-tendered by the end of the day…

      • JayTheRed

        Senzel, India and one or two minor leaguers should get the Reds a pretty good pitcher. If we want a top line guy they will have to pay even more.

      • Melvin

        That is correct. Would the Reds make that trade in reverse?

  10. west larry

    It might take India and Barrero or Fraley to get a 3 or 4 starter.

    • Michael Wilson

      And probably more. I agree with DaveCT. Injuries happen, depth is necessary. Let the kids step up, Phillips, Petty, Richardson, Spiers, Roa. The kids made the team fun to watch again, keep them coming. Teams want to fleece us out of Arroyo, Phillips, Petty. Buy some bullpen arms, a number 4 starter. I am more open to trading Stephenson than India. Maile did a great job last season. Grab a back up catcher.

      • Rob

        I don’t know what level starter we need. I lean toward better at her than lesser. Our young starting pitchers are overrated and I would not hesitate to trade 1-2 of them for proven starting pitchers. We are going on Year 3 of Ashcraft, Greene, and Lodolo and I think Greene and Lodolo have totaled less than 20 wins!! Neither has any innings buildup. Seriously doubt either will win 12 games next year. Maybe there is a long term future here but I don’t see it in 2024 and we have 5-6 other young starters. I would trade 1-2 of them while their value is at a peak. Get me a 2-3 year contract guy who has gone 12-8 and pitched 175 innings. I want innings.

      • greenmtred

        Our young starting pitchers are young, but I think it’s much too early to judge them overrated. Pitchers often take time to reach their potential

      • Rob

        @green, yes it might be too early but they are at high trade value. Let me turn the discussion around a bit. When do we concede we don’t need 6 young starting pitchers who can’t reach early September before burning out on innings? Reference Abbott. Or when does too early no longer apply and value is diminished? Or compared to other recent young pitchers, like Mahle and Bailey, how do these guys compare with Year 3 upon us. Wasn’t Bailey and Mahle winning 10-12 games in Year 3? My point was that I think we have an excess of young starting pitchers who have excellent trade value. Some probably are going to be better than Tyler and Homer. Some probably who are not. Overrated was probably the wrong word. I just don’t think they are going to be as valuable and magnificent in 2024 as others portray. We don’t need 6 with more on the horizon. We do need starter innings through September and not Kennedy, Richardson, Spiers, and Weaver in a pennant race.

      • DaveCT

        Rob, wins are considered more of a team stat than an individual stat these days, I’m told (see Gray, Doug), even though individual pitchers get awarded them too.

        Plus, we’d actually be selling low on Greene (injury), Lodolo (injury), Ashcraft (injury).

        IMO, it’s pretty much self defeating to sell off young, controllable pitchers who are still in the midst of developing. That is exactly what rebuilding clubs strive for, so it’s also going directly against The Plan As We Know It.

        Adding a veteran and/or higher caliber starter is definitely a strong want and need. But it’s a separate issue and doesn’t connect with trading the would-be supporting cast amongst the best starters.

        It’s true we have an excess of ML ready or near-ready starters. If we trade one, it’s most likely we deal our lowest common denominator that can get the deal done.

        Such as, offer Stoudt. Get rejected. Offer Spiers. Get rejected. Offer Richardson. Get rejected. Offer Williamson, and so on. Most importantly, know the ‘deal’s off name’ and move on.

      • BK

        @Rob, Abbott was in his second full season as a pro. He tossed 163 innings. Are you arguing that the Reds should move on from players that do so well in the minors that they are Major League ready early?

        Second, do we have an excess of pitchers? I see the promising makings of a rotation: Greene, Abbott, Lodolo, Aschraft, and Williamson. Phillips is close at AAA. Richardson, Spiers, and Roa may be close, but none of them was beating down the door as 2023 closed out. We had as many as three starters on the IL simultaneously. Most teams go through at least eight starters in a season. The Reds were 25th in Team ERA in 2023 with a decent bullpen. It’s pretty clear what part of the team needs to improve the most.

      • Optimist

        Wins have not been a relevant individual stat for years, if not decades – see DeGrom’s CY awards, among others. Especially so with comparatively recent tech analysis, spin rates, movement tracking, etc..

        It’s possible some team may wildly overvalue a package including India and lesser prospects, to the point of offering a solid starter, but much more likely they find one in free agency. Doubt they’d go beyond a 3 year contract and $80M, but that might be enough. They just need someone better than a 4th starter, really at least a #2 rotation level.

        No way Stephenson is moving, unless for a catcher in return, and they still need a 3rd, and possibly 4th catcher, hopefully both in AAA for most of the season.

      • greenmtred

        The hope is that the young starters will increase their endurance and be able to pitch more innings effectively, and it’s a reasonable hope, given that pitchers often take years to develop.

      • Melvin

        I would think Abbott, after what he’s shown so far, is pretty much untouchable even more so than Lodolo or Aschcraft and that’s saying a lot.

      • Tom Diesman

        From the 11/14/23: Reds Hot Stove program

        Jeff Brantley on Nick Lodolo, “He has the ability to be a #1 on a World Series Champion club.”

  11. Redsvol

    Whatever it takes to improve the team. We need pitching and outfielders. We have better infielders than India.

    One rule any club should have is “don’t get attached to 2nd basemen and left fielders that aren’t perennial all stars”. They can be had on open market.

    I suspect India was approached about switching positions last year and balked at the idea. I don’t blame him but it probably didn’t solidify his position.

  12. Mark Moore

    I’m thinking a trade happens. I just hope the return is worth it and includes pitching. I was all-in with RoY India in his rookie year, but I’m also a fan of solid defense and unless he moves to 1B or DH, he’s probably the 3rd best option at 2B. I don’t see him moving to 3B or LF.

    All speculation at this point.

    • Melvin

      Funny how a popular idea last year was to extend him and build a team around him. Thinks change fast. Caution may be in order.

  13. wkuchad

    If India is traded and we add no additional offense, here’s our 2024 offense:

    C Stephenson
    1B CES
    2B McLain
    3B Marte
    OF Fraley
    OF Friedl
    OF Benson
    DH Steer – also a utility player


    I can actually live with this offense and its potential for 2024, but we need to majorly upgrade the pitching. Need one to two above average starters and backend bullpen help, even if it means overpaying.

  14. Cabner

    Simple… Keep India. We cannot get an equal value for him. Why get rid of him and keep lesser players on this team? Meh

  15. Mark

    Weaknesses – India is a below average defensive second baseman and a 250 or so hitter that is not likely to improve.
    Strengths – supposedly a great clubhouse guy and is still young
    It seems that he is very popular to 3-4 teams. Krall should use this leverage and try to convince someone to “overpay”. Without packaging a young prospect, I think you may only get a #4 starter at best. With a prospect, maybe a #3 starter.
    Fact is Greene and Lodolo cannot be counted on to pitch an entire season. Both have great potential and hopefully will be healthy in 2024. Best result would be to acquire a pitcher who has shown durability, reliably pitches 6+ innings (if Bell would allow) and is locked up for 2 years or more. Don’t see how we can afford to use 5-6 pitchers to get through a 9 -inning game as much as we do.
    My backup plan would be acquire someone like Miley ( I know he has durability concern) and a couple of retread veterans on minor league contracts. We need some time before Phillips, Petty, Lowder etc may be ready.

  16. RedBB

    Seems like Bryan Woo straight up is about the best we could get for India. Not keen on giving up prospects to nab a better starting pitcher.

    • Mark

      I am not keen on giving up prospects either. But if you can package India with a highly rated prospect in Low or High A for a pitcher that meets the criteria in my previous post you need to do it. Don’t give India away just because our infield is set but see what starting pitcher he may bring. Without adding at least 1 starting pitcher next year, we will be hard pressed to make the playoffs

  17. doofus

    Sea, Bos, CWS*, KC, Tor need a secondbaseman.
    * Traded for Nicky Lopez (2b/ss) and Brad Shewmake (ss) last night.

    Az, CC, Det, LAA, Mil, NYY, Oak, Tor, Was need a thirdbaseman.

  18. Votto4life

    As always the devil is in the details. If they trade India to meet a need, then I am all for it. If it is to dump India because he is an arb eligible player and they are just looking to save a few bucks, then it doesn’t bode well for the rookies when they reach arbitration in a couple of years.

    • MBS

      If they trade India, I don’t think it’s for the 3M he’s due to make. They just have a glut of middle infielders, and might see trading as the best solution. Like you said though, the devil will be in the details. I want a stronger team, not a weaker one.

      • Votto4life

        MBS you have more faith in ownership than I do…well, almost everyone who walks the face of the earth has more faith in the Reds ownership than I do..but I really hope you are right.

        I think India has value and shouldn’t just be given away. The fact that multiple teams are interested in him should be an indication he has more value than many give him credit for.. I guess we will find out soon. Fingers crossed.

  19. Jim Walker

    I don’t think it is a coincidence the Reds seem to be pushing to move India ahead of the tender deadline. They will tender him if they can’t move him by the deadline; but, their druthers seem to be to have him off the books ahead of the deadline.

    They may be looking for cost certainty at this juncture to allow them to spend what they would have spent on India in the free agent market.

    • Optimist

      Almost always agree with Jim, and don’t really disagree here, but think that even with the Reds, the salary issue is irrelevant here. Both since it’s relatively small, and since it is a known factor in any trade, before or after today’s deadline.

      Or, am I missing an accounting issue (revenue sharing calculation deadline, internal Castellini budget requirement?)?

      • Jim Walker

        Cost certainty could also involve the return. If India (or a package he headlines) brings back a middle of the rotation guy at say $10m for 2024 and perhaps also a team option for 2025 at $12m with a $1m buyout, that is also a settled cost certainty for 1 or 2 years of the guy.

        India is the guy they chose to move because they have a glut of IF and he represents the least time of control at the highest AAV of all the IF over the term of his control.

      • Optimist

        Yes – good points Jim – That’s also the issue if Verdugo is involved. He’s at 9M (arb projection) for the season, and FA after. An India-Verdugo deal adds about 5M (after India’s arb) they may be considering elsewhere. Still, that’s borderline small potatoes even for the Reds (though it’s what I expect they’d offer Joey to return if the spot is available).

    • Votto4life

      “ They may be looking for cost certainty at this juncture to allow them to spend what they would have spent on India in the free agent market.”

      Or you know, not spend it at all.

  20. doofus

    It is nice to have young, talented, cost controlled players; however, it is more likely that a team on the cusp of making the playoffs would want to augment their roster with some veterans who can fill positions of need. What does a team gain by just stockpiling youngsters?

    If they are good enough to contribute at the ML level at some point they would all become arb and FA eligible at the same time.

  21. redfanorbust

    IMHO Reds should not trade for one year rentals or marginal #4-5 starters when it comes to SP. SP as we all know is at a premium which equals an overpay. On baseball trade values I threw names together trading for Seattle’s Logan Gilbert. Reds send back India/Arroyo/Hinds/Petty/Collier and that still shows a moderate overpay on Seattle’s part. Even if Seattle said yes to this would Reds be willing to give up that much for him?
    Even with the freed up money Reds now have we will not be able to compete for
    premium FA SP with the richie riches of the baseball world. Maybe we get more bang for our Indiabuck trading for a power hitting outfielder? Well I looked up the teams that need a 2B, Red and White sox, Seattle and Blue Jays and surprisingly found precious little that any of those teams OFers had to offer back. I don’t envy Nick Krall this off season. He certainly has his work cut out for him.

    • Greenfield Red

      I wouldn’t want them to give up any of the listed minor leaguers with India for Gilbert… let alone all of them. This is not the trade deadline where those are the prices to be paid.

      It is my understanding that other teams are coming to the Reds looking for a 2B… not the Reds calling other teams about SP.

      The Reds can get SPs via free agency. There are no 2b in free agency. The Reds should be on the better side of the simulator in this case… or say no.

      • Greenfield Red

        Additionally, if JI is not worth a #3 SP, maybe he’s worth a ML high end closer and an 18 yo high end arm or hitter.

      • redfanorbust

        Hey Greenfield Red, I agree. I myself would not give up all those players for Gilbert either. My post was merely an example of what the Reds were up against when it comes to trades or free agency. However I am sure that Krall does not limit himself to just having other teams calling him about India or any player. It is a GM job to follow all avenues that can lead to making their team better.

  22. Mike

    Somebody will be fleecing us on him. Healthy, he’s a winner

    • Greenfield Red

      What makes you so sure? NK has shown he knows what he is doing

      • Mike

        When he’s got a winning hand to play, sure. But India has multiple negatives, like injuries and defense working against us

    • LDS

      Saw that and not particularly a surprise.

    • Mark Moore

      Hope he finds a home at 3B somewhere.

  23. Laredo Slider

    Glad the Reds finally admitted Senzel was a flop. BTW, his defensive future is 1B where he doesn’t have to think, just react.

  24. Old-school

    Derek law, reiver Sanmartin, nick Senzel and Joey votto off the roster

    Krall wasnt kidding in October of 2022 when he said the roster will look different after october 2023

    • Votto4life

      Happy they didn’t non-tender Jose Barrero.

    • Optimist

      Hope and expect they retain Sanmartin unless someone makes him a silly offer. Not so much for late next season, as inexpensive LHRP AAAA depth later.

      • TR

        Sanmartin has been non-tendered, which disappoints me. He didn’t quite get it together with the Reds, but Sanmartin seems to have potential and determination to become a good reliever.

  25. Max

    GM will do one of his famous trade for SORE ARM pitcher in his LATE 20’s. Throw Barrero into trade a get quality starter!