Saying that his side has “opened it up” in search of a dialogue this winter, Gennett says he has “heard absolutely nothing.” Previously, he and the club worked out a $9.775MM deal to cover his final season of arbitration eligibility. That’s a hefty sum, to be sure, but did fall shy of the $10.7MM that MLBTR projected.
Gennett made clear that his primary frustration isn’t the lack of a long-term deal so much as it is the club’s communication on the matter. “What I don’t like is when you’re told we’re going to have a talk and it doesn’t happen,” he said. GM Nick Krall declined to comment, citing club policy.
In the middle of the 2018 campaign, Gennett said he had reason to believe there was serious interest from the club in an extension. Things seemingly shifted this winter, though, for the Cincinnati native. President of baseball operations Dick Williams cast doubt on the possibility of a deal and Gennett even briefly popped up in trade rumors.
There’s still time for a change of course in camp, but there’s clearly no momentum toward an agreement at present. Gennett says he’s fine with the current arrangement from a financial perspective — “I’m only going to make more money going year-to-year than if I signed a long-term deal” — but would like to know what to anticipate from a personal perspective.
Looking at the subject from a roster-building perspective, it’s not too hard to see why the Reds might have hesitated. Gennett is still just 28 years of age and has now put up two-straight quality seasons, but he also has some platoon limitations and only lines up at second base defensively. While the plan is to put top prospect Nick Senzel at center field this spring, it’s also possible that he or another rising prospect could make for a compelling infield option in the relatively near term. With other needs already readily foreseeable next winter, locking into Gennett for significant money comes with some clear downside.