Jonathan India Agrees to Two-Year Contract with Cincinnati Reds to Avoid Arbitration

Jonathan India is staying red

The 27-year-old half-Colombian American baseball player, a second baseman, has agreed to a two-year contract with the Cincinnati Reds, avoiding an arbitration hearing next week for the 2021 National League Rookie of the Year.

Jonathan India,Selected fifth overall by Cincinnati in the 2018 amateur draft, India has hit .255 with 48 homers, 171 RBIs and an on-base percentage of .350 in parts of three seasons.

Eligible for arbitration for the first time, India asked for a raise from $760,000 to $4 million and the Reds offered $3.2 million when the sides exchanged proposed arbitration salaries last month.

Along with India, the Reds will have to find playing time for young players Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, Spencer Steer, Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Noelvi Marte.

In addition, infielder Jeimer Candelario signed as a free agent.

Frankie Montas Agrees to One-Year, $16 Million Contract with Cincinnati Reds

Frankie Montas is in the Red(s)

The Cincinnati Reds have added the 30-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher, agreeing to terms with righty on a one-year, $16 million contract, according to ESPN.

Frankie Montas The deal is pending a physical.

Montas missed most of last season for the New York Yankees after undergoing shoulder surgery in February. He was acquired by New York midseason in 2022 but struggled over eight starts in the final two months of that year, compiling a 6.35 ERA.

The bulk of his career was spent in Oakland Athletics where he had his best season in 2021, going 13-9 with a 3.37 ERA in 32 starts. The eight-year veteran has a career 3.90 ERA.

Montas made one appearance in the final weekend of the 2023 season after recovering from his shoulder ailment. It showed teams he was healthy leading into free agency.

He joins a Reds squad looking to improve on the mound. Cincinnati ranked 25th in ERA last season, mostly featuring a very young pitching staff. The Reds already added veterans Emilio Pagan and Nick Martinez this offseason as they attempt to take another step in their team’s development.

Cincinnati is likely to be one of the favorites to win the NL Central utilizing a young core of both position players and pitchers. MLB Network was first to report the agreement.

Jeimer Candelario Agrees to Three-Year, $45 Million Contract with Cincinnati Reds

Jeimer Candelario is seeing Red(s) 

The 30-year-old Dominican American professional baseball third baseman has agreed to a three-year, $45 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds, adding the veteran switch hitter to a plethora of young infielders as the Reds position themselves for a run at the National League Central title.

Jeimer CandelarioCandelario was non-tendered by the Detroit Tigers following the 2022 season but rebounded with a stellar 2023, setting career highs in home runs (22) and RBIs (70) while hitting .251/.336/.471 and playing first and third base for the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs. His deal with the Reds includes a club option for $15 million in 2027, sources said. 

He joins a Reds team that already features young infielders Elly De La CruzMatt McLainNoelvi Marte, Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Jonathan India. Another infielder, Spencer Steer, is expected to move to left field, where he would complement outfielders TJ Friedl, Will Benson and Jake Fraley.

Candelario’s deal, first reported by, could free up Cincinnati to use its depth to pursue a trade for a pitcher, though the Reds already have added right-hander Nick Martinez to their rotation and right-hander Emilio Pagan to their bullpen on two-year deals.

Cincinnati’s last postseason appearance in a full season came in 2013, and following an 82-80 performance in 2023, owner Bob Castellini said he intended to expand the Reds’ payroll with hopes of usurping the incumbent division winner, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Cubs. The Reds, typically among the lowest-payroll teams, have guaranteed $87 million to free agents.

Multiple teams pursued Candelario this winter, looking at his versatility as well as his ability to hit from both sides of the plate as pluses. Over his eight-year career, Candelario has hit .243/.325/.414 with 88 home runs and 318 RBIs in 746 games.

Nick Martinez Agrees to Two-Year, $26 Million Contract with Cincinnati Reds

Nick Martinez is seeing Red(s)…

The 33-year-old Latino professional baseball player, a right-handed pitcher, has agreed to a two-year, $26 million contract with the Cincinnati Reds, according to ESPN.

Nick MartinezMartinez’s hiring caps a busy Wednesday in which the Reds bulked up their pitching staff in hopes of winning the National League Central next season.

Martinez had opted out of the final two years of his contract with the San Diego Padres that would have paid him $16 million after the Padres declined their two-year, $32 million club option on him.

He comes off a season in which he pitched 54 games out of the bullpen but thrived over nine starts, posting a 2.32 ERA in 42⅔ innings.

Martinez’s deal, which is pending a physical, will pay him $14 million in 2024, sources said, at which point he can head back to free agency. If he opts into the contract, Martinez would be paid $12 million in 2025.

Martinez is expected to join a rotation that could include any of five 25-and-under pitchers: Right-handers Hunter Greene and Graham Ashcraft and left-handers Nick LodoloAndrew Abbott and Brandon Williamson.

After four years of middling success with the Texas Rangers, Martinez spent four seasons in Japan, thriving in 2021 with a 1.60 ERA in 140⅔ innings. He returned stateside with more fastball velocity and an elite Vulcan-grip changeup he learned while in Japan. Martinez signed with the Padres, opting out of his deal after one season but re-signing last November for three years and $26 million, with the dual options following the first season.

In the two seasons since his return to Major League Baseball, Martinez is 10-8 with a 3.45 ERA and 201 strikeouts against 81 walks in 216⅔ innings.

Emilio Pagan Signs Two-Year Deal with Cincinnati Reds

Emilio Pagan is headed to Ohio…

The 32-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball player has signed with the Cincinnati Reds on a two-year deal for the right-handed reliever.

Emilio Pagan, The deal is reportedly worth $16,000,000 and includes both a player option after the first season and performance bonuses.

The Cincinnati Reds are expecting to spend money this offseason according to Bob Castellini, with the signing of Pagan considered the first of several deals the team makes this offseason to add to their 82-win club from 2023 that’s full of young talent.

Pagan spent the 2023 season with the Minnesota Twins and had one of the best years of his career.

He pitched in 66 games and threw 69.1 innings while posting a 2.99 ERA, giving up 45 hits – including 5 home runs – to go along with 21 walks and 65 strikeouts.

He has played in the MLB for the Tampa Bay RaysSeattle MarinersOakland AthleticsSan Diego Padres and Minnesota Twins. He plays for the Puerto Rico national baseball team.

Jasson Domínguez Becomes Youngest New York Yankees Player to Homer in MLB Debut

Jasson Domínguez is celebrating a smashing Major League Baseball debut…

The 20-year-old Dominican baseball player and New York Yankees player wowed everyone on Friday night, hitting a two-run homer off Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander in his first major league at-bat.

Jasson DominguezAt just 20 years, 206 days old, Domínguez became the youngest Yankees player to homer in his first game. He was the first Yankees player to go deep in his initial big league at-bat since Aaron Judge on Aug. 13, 2016.

Additionally, it was just the second time a player homered off a reigning Cy Young Award winner in his first at-bat, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The other was Marcus Thames — also for the Yankees — on June 10, 2002, off Randy Johnson.

After Domínguez swatted his opposite-field home run to the short porch in left off a three-time Cy Young Award winner twice his age, TV cameras panned to his family, who screamed and jumped around after watching the ball leave the yard for a 3-0 lead in the first inning.

Four years after Yankees manager Aaron Boone saw him taking batting practice as a teenager, the highly touted prospect was a huge hit in his big league debut.

The switch-hitting outfielder and another promising youngster, catcher Austin Wells, were called up from the minors by the last-place Yankees when rosters expanded Friday.

“Everyone’s excited for them and excited to see them,” Boone said before the game. “Both [are] talented guys who earned this opportunity, and looking forward to watching them go spread their wings and continue to develop and hopefully see some good things.”

Domínguez is expected to be the team’s everyday center fielder after Harrison Bader was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds, and Boone said Wells will also play a lot over the last month of the season. They were both in the starting lineup Friday night, with Domínguez batting fifth and Wells seventh.

“When I heard the news, it was a special moment,” Domínguez said in Spanish through a translator. “Just to be here, very excited. Happy to be right here today, and it’s a special day.”

Wells is regarded more for his bat than his defense, but he’s hoping to show he can be a valuable contributor in both areas in the majors.

“I’m here to do that as well and play and help the team win,” he said. “So, that’s my goal and if I can do it in any way, I’ll do it any way.”

Expectations have been high for Domínguez since he received a $5.1 million bonus when he signed with the Yankees. His unique combination of strength and speed at such a young age earned him a catchy nickname: The Martian.

But he said he doesn’t feel any added pressure because of that.

“I haven’t really been paying too much attention to all that, all the comments and all the information about me,” he said. “I’m not much on social media. I’m not reading a lot of the different articles that are written. I just try to focus on what I can do and try to play my game and better myself so that I can fulfill whatever expectation there is being the best I can be.”

Domínguez was set to become the youngest player to appear in a game for the Yankees since 19-year-old pitcher José Rijo in July 1984 — and the youngest position player since 20-year-old outfielder Stan Javier in April 1984.

Boone is certainly aware of the expectations people have for Domínguez and believes he’ll live up to them.

“I think he’s going to be a really good player,” Boone said. “I really do. [He’s] not a finished product. And we’ll see how his journey goes. He’s obviously a very young man, super talented. I think when we look up in several years, we’re going to see a really good player in front of us and he gets to start to write that script, in the big leagues anyway, starting today.”

Domínguez joins the team after playing just nine games at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. He hit .419 with two doubles and 10 RBIs there after batting .254 with 15 homers and 66 RBIs in 109 games for Double-A Somerset.

Christian Encarnacion-Strand Makes Major League Baseball Debut in Cincinnati Reds Game vs. San Francisco

Christian Encarnacion-Strand has made his Major League Baseball debut…

Hoping to spark a struggling offense, the slumping Cincinnati Reds promoted the 23-year-old Latino American baseball player, a top MLB prospect and inserted him into the starting lineup against San Francisco for his MLB debut.

Christian Encarnacion-Strand Encarnacion-Strand, an infielder, flied out to right in his first at-bat, hitting seventh as the designated hitter, and grounded out in the fifth. He was among four rookies in the Reds’ starting lineup, joining third baseman Elly De La Cruz, shortstop Matt McLain and pitcher Brandon Williamson.

“It means a lot,” Encarnacion-Strand said. “Now, I get to play with a really, really good group of guys. The guys have been always welcoming. The same thing in spring training, they were super, super nice to me. I don’t feel pressure or anxiety to go in there with them.”

A native of Walnut Creek, California, Encarnacion-Strand hit .331 with 21 doubles, 20 homers and 62 RBIs with a 1.042 OPS in 67 games this year for Triple-A Louisville. He led the International League with 177 total bases.

According to Major League Baseball, at 27 characters his name is the longest in big league history, five longer than Minnesota pitcher Simeon Woods Richardson. MLB included the hyphen in its count.

“He’s played well,” Reds general manager Nick Krall said. “He deserved a shot with Kevin on the injured list.”

Infielder Kevin Newman was placed on the 10-day injured list with gastritis, a move retroactive to Friday.

“It was the perfect time to bring him up. He made adjustments over the last couple of months. He is taking better at-bats. With that he’s still shown power,” Krall said. “He has been able to hit outside of the zone, but cutting down his chase rate brought the zone more to him. It allowed him to get better at the Triple-A level.”

Cincinnati entered Monday with a four-game losing streak after getting swept in a three-game series at Milwaukee. The Reds were shut out in three straight games before Sunday’s 4-3 loss.

Encarnacion-Strand was Minnesota’s fourth-round pick in the 2021 amateur draft. He was acquired last August with infielder/outfielder Spencer Steer and left-hander Steve Hajjar for right-hander Tyler Mahle.

Elly De La Cruz Makes Cincinnati Reds History By Stealing Second, Third & Home in Same Inning

Elly De La Cruz has stolen his way into the Cincinnati Reds history books…

The 21-year-old Dominican professional baseball player became the first Reds player since 1919 to steal second, third and home in the same inning, the latest electrifying feat from the franchise-changing rookie.

Elly De La Cruz De La Cruz broke a 5-5 tie with the Milwaukee Brewers in the seventh inning with a two-out RBI single off Elvis Peguero, then got to work making the reliever’s life miserable. He stole second. Then, on a 1-2 pitch from Peguero (1-2), he swiped third without a throw.

The rattled reliever caught the ball from his catcher in front of the mound and turned his back as he walked slowly toward the rubber. Pausing only to put his helmet back on, De La Cruz walked down the third-base line, broke into a sprint and easily beat Peguero’s rushed throw to the plate.

Elly De La Cruz “I kept checking on him, checking on him to see if he was going to go back or if he was checking on me or anything like that,” De La Cruz said through a translator. “When I saw him walk back to the mound, he was at kind of at a slow pace. He didn’t look back over there at third, so I decided there to go.”

De La Cruz bounced up in jubilation and skipped toward the dugout, leaping to high-five his teammates.

After Joey Votto made the last out, Peguero was booed off the field. Cincinnati ended up winning the game 8-5.

De La Cruz became the first player in the past 50 years to steal three bases in a single plate appearance. The last player to steal all three bases in the same inning was Miami’s Jon Berti in a 3-0 win at the New York Mets on Aug. 25, 2020.

“It’s on all of us really, on all of us,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It was a good baseball by him. We weren’t aware enough, like, all over the place, on the field, in the dugout, everywhere.”

Reds manager David Bell could only marvel at the rookie’s derring-do.

“It’s so much fun to watch, so much fun to be part of,” Bell said. “It’s one of those plays that’s so rare, especially on two pitches to steal a base like that. The speed is obvious, just elite speed like maybe we’ve never seen, but also how heads-up it was.”

The surging Reds, who were 27-33 when De La Cruz was promoted from the minors June 6, improved to 23-7 since and expanded their lead over Milwaukee in the NL Central to two games.

De La Cruz has 16 stolen bases in 30 games and went 2-for-5 Saturday to improve his batting average to .328. He’s the first player in MLB history with at least 40 hits and 15 stolen bases in his first 30 career games in the majors, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

The shortstop’s only blemish was a nonchalant toss to second for the final out, but the play withstood a replay challenge.

Lucas Sims (3-1) threw 1⅓ innings of scoreless relief, Jonathan India‘s sacrifice fly in the ninth gave the Reds a three-run lead, and All-Star Alexis Diaz got the last three outs for his 26th save in 27 chances.

Elly De La Cruz Appears in New Ad for Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One”

Elly De La Cruz is on a mission

The 21-year-old Dominican professional baseball player, a Cincinnati Reds rookie, shows off his acting skills in a new advertisement for the upcoming movie “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, starring Tom Cruise.

Elly De La CruzDe La Cruz, who has been a breakout star on the field this season, appears alongside soccer star Alex Morgan and NFL standout Odell Beckham Jr. 

The three athletes show off their speed in homage to Cruise’s signature sprint in the long-running action franchise.

De La Cruz, a third baseman, filmed his portion of the ad — in which he swings a bat and runs — about two weeks ago.

He fielded questions from reporters on Friday night before the NL Central-leading Reds took on the second-place Milwaukee Brewers in the opener of a three-game series before the MLB All-Star break. The teams will meet again immediately after the break, with a three-game set in Cincinnati.

Asked if he had acted before, De La Cruz laughed and responded, “Just by myself, yeah, I’ve been an actor.”

De La Cruz is batting .325 in 27 games with four homers, 14 RBI, 12 stolen bases and 25 runs scored.

The Reds were 27-33 when De La Cruz was promoted from Triple-A Chattanooga on June 6. Since then, the club has rocketed into first place, going 22-6 and carrying a two-game lead over Milwaukee into this weekend’s series. He has started 27 of the Reds’ 28 games since his debut.

De La Cruz touched on why he wears No. 44 — made famous by Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

“It’s just an honor to have that number and to wear this same number that a lot of legends in this game have worn in the past,” De La Cruz said. “It’s just an honor.”

Elly De La Cruz Becomes Youngest MLB Player to Hit for Cycle in 51 Years

Elly De La Cruz is making Major League Baseball history…

The 21-year-old Dominican professional baseball infielder and Cincinnati Reds rookie became the youngest MLB player to hit for the cycle in 51 years during Friday night’s game against the Atlanta Braves.

Elly De La CruzDe La Cruz completed the cycle when he blasted a sixth-inning triple that scored teammate Jonathan India, giving the Reds an 11-7 lead.

He became the youngest player to hit for the cycle since Houston’s César Cedeño in 1972, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

De La Cruz is also the third player since 1901 to hit for the cycle within his first 15 career games.

De La Cruz also became the first Reds’ player to hit for the cycle since Eric Davis in 1989.

De La Cruz’s cycle included a third-inning home run, his third on the season.