Brandon Drury has widely been seen as one of the top trade candidates of deadline season, and the Reds infielder seems even more likely to change teams now that a contract extension doesn’t appear to be happening. As Reds GM Nick Krall told MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, a long-term deal between Drury and the Reds is “not on the table as of right now.”
It frankly would’ve counted as a surprise if an extension was signed, for a variety of factors. The Reds have already traded Luis Castillo and Tommy Pham as the latest in a series of cost-cutting/rebuilding moves, and it stands to reason that Drury (a free agent after the season) was a natural next piece to be moved, particularly since Drury has drawn interest from at least four teams to date.
2022 has also been easily Drury’s best full season as a Major Leaguer, as he entered today’s action with 20 home runs and a .275/.336/.523 slash line over 381 plate appearances. Drury has more than delivered on the minor league contract he signed with the Reds back in March, which could be another reason why a trade is likelier than an extension — Cincinnati might prefer to sell high on Drury, rather than commit some notable money to a late bloomer who is just weeks away from his 30th birthday.
Still, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal raised the possibility of a Drury extension in a notes column yesterday. It isn’t uncommon for teams to engage in some last-minute extension talks with pending free agents in advance of the trade deadline, as just in case the player is open to more of a team-friendly deal to stay in town. Given Drury’s lack of a proven track record, he might well have been amenable to an extension, in order to lock in some guaranteed money and some stability after playing for five teams in eight MLB seasons.