The Cincinnati Reds have already locked in one piece of their future core in Hunter Greene. They may not be done.
According to Bob Nightengale from USA Today, the Reds have begun preliminary talks with Graham Ashcraft’s representatives about a long term extension. This follows earlier reports that the Reds are also looking into an extension with Nick Lodolo as well.
Extending young arms necessary for Cincinnati Reds future
The Reds need to lock these pieces in if they are going to contend. Their previous forays into free agency, resulting in the likes of Mike Moustakas and Eugenio Suarez, failed in spectacular fashion. This resulted in the Reds slashing payroll and undergoing another rebuild.
But this one is bearing fruit already. Greene is one of the more intriguing young pitchers in the game due to his high octane fastball and devastating slider. Lodolo, a fellow first round draft pick, could be the Reds’ future ace. Ashcraft has the elite velocity that teams look for, but is more of a ground ball machine than a strikeout artist. Other players, such as Jonathan India and Spencer Steer, could be building blocks for the lineup. And don’t forget about Alexis Diaz, who has the potential to be a dominant closer.
Any long term extension will be fraught with risks. The is especially the case with long term deals for pitching. However, these are the types of deals that the Reds need to pursue. If they are going to come out of their current rebuild and contend in the near future, their young pitching staff will be a major part of that effort. The key now is to keep those arms around for the long haul.
The Cincinnati Reds already locked one of their young arms to a long term extension. They may not be done extending their core pieces.