Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett discussed his future with the ballclub after last night’s game, as MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. While a mid-season trade seems possible, Gennett says he’d “like nothing more than to play [in Cincinnati] long-term.”
Gennett’s comments are most notable, perhaps, for his discussion of one potential alternative to a trade scenario. The veteran infielder says that his agent made an offseason attempt at starting extension talks with the organization. That effort fizzled, however, when the team “shot it down.”
A native of the area and childhood Reds fan, Gennett seemingly suggests he’d still be amenable to discussing a new deal. “The ball’s in their court,” he tells Sheldon. “I think it’s really up to Mr. Castellini [owner Bob Castellini] and the front office about where we go from here. I love the team and I’d love to be here.”
It seems there isn’t any lingering negativity following the unsuccessful offseason contract negotiation efforts. Apart from the differing viewpoints on a long-term deal, the sides failed to settle on an arbitration number. Gennett ultimately prevailed in a hearing, taking down a $5.7MM salary rather than the $5.1MM that the team defended.
Gennett is eligible for arbitration one final time after the present campaign. It’s certainly possible the Reds could decide to keep him and simply tender him a contract for 2019, though it’s still hard to see the organization as a likely contender next year. Holding Gennett without extending him would mean giving up a chance at achieving future value through a trade or a new contract. It’s not a straightforward decision, particularly with Eugenio Suarez locked in at third and top prospect Nick Senzel at or near MLB readiness and in need of a position.
It seems at least plausible to think, then, that Gennett will be shopped at the deadline if the club does not view him as a long-term piece that they can extend at an appealing price tag. With a strong offensive track record dating back to the start of the 2017 season, Gennett has certainly earned consideration as a trade target for contending teams. Indeed, we fully examined his potential trade candidacy just yesterday, noting the excellent output at the plate along with some lingering concerns as to its sustainability.