The White Sox have interest in Reds second baseman Jonathan India, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. This item has some connection to a pair of other recent reports, one from last week about the Reds’ interest in Chicago’s pitchers, and an item from MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand earlier today indicating that the Reds were at least open to consider moving India in a deal for controllable pitching.
However, Wittenmyer pushed back on Feinsand’s report, hearing that the Reds’ willingness to move India was “vastly overstated…and led to conversations assuring one of the most respected players in the clubhouse of the slim-to-none chance he’ll be traded.” Listening to offers out of due diligence doesn’t translate that the Reds are particularly eager to move India, with Wittenmyer indicating that Cincinnati’s talks about India fall “into the category of there’s no such thing as an untouchable player,” rather than the front office actually shopping the second baseman.
An India trade might make sense on paper, given Cincinnati’s glut of young infield talent and the team’s strong need for rotation help for an unexpected playoff push. That said, moving India might not be sensible from a chemistry standpoint, as Spencer Steer, Matt McLain, and Reds manager David Bell all spoke glowingly about India’s importance within the group.
“I don’t think you can really put into words what [India] means to this team,” Steer said. “He’s the guy who addresses the team after wins….He’s been through kind of every phase of what an organization goes through when they’re trying to win. He continues to be a great leader on and off the field, vocally, leading by example through his actions every single day.”
Wittenmyer cited the Brewers’ now-infamous trade of Josh Hader as an example of how a midseason deal that is sensible from a big-picture standpoint can be disastrous to the morale of a team trying to win now, as the Brewers were vocally demoralized in the wake of Hader’s move to the Padres last summer. Obviously the Hader trade has become something of a cautionary tale for front offices, giving Reds GM Nick Krall even more to ponder he looks for ways to bolster his surprise contender.
Of course, the Reds players could warm up to a trade quickly if a major player came back to Cincinnati in return — for instance, Dylan Cease. While Cease is one of four players the White Sox consider next to untouchable in trade talks, India (who is controlled through 2026) might be the kind of building block that might get the Sox considering moving the AL Cy Young Award runner-up. Likewise, in what might be the middle ground between Wittenmyer and Feinsand’s reports, landing a frontline hurler like Cease would be the only scenario that might get Krall and company to part ways with India.
Lucas Giolito is Chicago’s top trade asset heading into the deadline, yet the Reds aren’t at all likely to move India for a pitcher who will be a free agent after the season. Michael Kopech (who, like Cease, is controlled through 2025) could be an interesting target for the Reds, though Cincinnati might be wary of Kopech’s injury history.
Speaking of the Reds’ infield, Kevin Newman returned from the 10-day injured list today after a minimum 10-day absence due to gastritis. The veteran has hit .260/.318/.375 over 225 plate appearances this season, getting a good chunk of time at third base, second base, and shortstop. That said, Newman’s playing time has been reduced since the arrival of McLain, Elly De La Cruz, and now Christian Encarnacion-Strand in Cincinnati’s infield, and with the youngsters taking over, Newman looks like a prime candidate to be moved at the deadline.
Newman’s activation was one of a few transactions made by the Reds today, as righty Levi Stoudt was optioned to Triple-A and Daniel Duarte was called up to bring a fresh arm into the pitching ranks. More notably, catcher Curt Casali was placed on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to July 21) due to a left foot contusion.
With Tyler Stephenson and Luke Maile already on the active roster, the Reds aren’t short in the catching department. Casali and Stephenson began the year in something of a timeshare behind the plate, as the Reds were trying to keep Stephenson healthy after his injury-shortened 2022 by using him regularly at DH and first base. However, with Joey Votto’s return from the IL and the DH position being used to give at-bats to many young hitters, Stephenson has more increasingly taken on a regular catching workload, leaving Casali as an odd man out.