The cost for the Cincinnati Reds to acquire Willy Adames last year? Jonathan India.

DENVER – It may have been the turning point in the National League Central last year. Two teams in the division had a need at shortstop and one acquired Willy Adames on their way to a division title while the other team stood pat and missed the playoffs.

The Milwaukee Brewers acquired Adames from the Tampa Bay Rays on May 21, in exchange for pitchers Drew Rasmussen and JP Feyereisen. The Brewers were 21-23 at the time of the trade, but Adames quickly became their sparkplug and a clubhouse leader. Adames earned NL MVP votes at the end of the season.

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The Cincinnati Reds had a hole at shortstop, playing Eugenio Suárez out of position for the first five weeks of the season, but trade talks between the Reds and Rays never gained momentum. The Rays wanted Jonathan India and a reliever as the return in a potential trade, The Enquirer confirmed through league sources.

Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Willy Adames (27) slides into a force out at second as Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India (6) completes the double play on a ground ball off the bat of Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Tyrone Taylor (15) in the third inning of the MLB National League game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati on Sunday, July 18, 2021. Sonny Gray’s return from the injured list went five and two-thirds innings before leaving the game trailing 5 -0.

The Reds, of course, balked at trading India, who became the National League Rookie of the Year. Kyle Farmer became the club’s starting shortstop last May when Joey Votto’s broken thumb shuffled their infield.

It didn’t make sense for the Reds from a long-term view. Adames will become a free agent after the 2024 season, India after 2026. The Reds have Jose Barrero, who is recovering from hamate surgery, as a potential long-term solution at shortstop.

As the Reds prepare to face Milwaukee for the first time this season Tuesday at American Family Field, Adames is fresh off winning the NL Player of the Week award.

Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Willy Adames (27) smiles after beating a pick off attempt from Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo (58) to Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) in the first inning of the MLB baseball game between Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday, July 17, 2021, at Great American Ball Park.

Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Willy Adames (27) smiles after beating a pick off attempt from Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo (58) to Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) in the first inning of the MLB baseball game between Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday, July 17, 2021, at Great American Ball Park.

The Reds didn’t have the pitching to match Milwaukee’s offer, especially with the state of their bullpen at the beginning of last season. Rasmussen owns a 2.63 ERA in 82 innings with Tampa over the last two years, starting a playoff game against Boston. Feyereisen, who made three relief appearances in the postseason last year, has a 1.91 ERA in 47 innings with the Rays. Both pitchers are under team control through the 2026 season.

Adames didn’t hit well with the Rays before the trade, batting .197 with five homers, 15 RBI and a .254 on-base percentage in 132 at-bats. The Rays kept a high price tag because it was the first significant in-season trade in 2021, and they had the depth to move Adames with prized prospect Wander Franco on the verge of the Majors.

There was a stretch in late April and early May when India wasn’t an everyday starter as he adjusted to Major League pitching, batting .208 in his first 26 games. India heated up at the end of May and then took off as one of the league’s best hitters when he was inserted into the leadoff spot in June.

India will miss the Reds’ first series of the season against Milwaukee after he was placed on the 10-day Injured List on Sunday with a hamstring injury.

Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Willy Adames (27) gestures after a two-run home run during the fifth inning of hitting a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Friday, July 16, 2021, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.  The Milwaukee Brewers won, 11-6.

Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Willy Adames (27) gestures after a two-run home run during the fifth inning of hitting a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Friday, July 16, 2021, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. The Milwaukee Brewers won, 11-6.

Lost confidence for Reiver Sanmartin means going back to Louisville

With MLB rosters reverting back to 26 players on Monday, the Reds sent left-hander Reiver Sanmartin and infielder Alejo Lopez to Triple-A Louisville after Sunday’s 10-1 loss to the Colorado Rockies.

Sanmartin is out of the rotation after yielding 22 hits and 20 runs in his last nine innings. He lasted only two-thirds of an inning in his start Sunday.

“(Sanmartin) needs to go pitch in Triple-A and get his confidence back,” Reds Manager David Bell said. “I do think he learned a lot from this. Now he knows how important it is to pitch with that confidence even when things aren’t going well. You have to continue to believe in yourself. The way he pitches, that’s really who he is and how he’s been his whole life. He knows how to do it. He just has to go find it again.”

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Reiver Sanmartin (52) walks back to the dugout in the second inning of the MLB baseball game between Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Reiver Sanmartin (52) walks back to the dugout in the second inning of the MLB baseball game between Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Tuesday, April 26, 2022.

Sanmartin admitted he lost confidence after giving up a leadoff single in his start Sunday. Eight of the 10 batters he faced reached base against him.

“It’s mostly about telling yourself that you have to be really good out there and having too many thoughts in your head,” Sanmartin said, according to interpreter Jorge Merlos. “From there on, you’re thinking about throwing too nasty out there and it just doesn’t work out the way that you want it to work out.”

Brandon Drury lone bright spot in Cincinnati Reds lineup

The Reds rank at the bottom of the league in the most offensive categories during their 3-19 start, but Brandon Drury has been a bright spot in the lineup.

Drury, who signed a minor-league deal during spring training, secured a spot on the Opening Day roster after an injury to Donovan Solano. More injuries have made him a regular starter and he’s taken advantage with a .250 batting average, a team-high four homers and eight RBI.

Cincinnati Reds'  Brandon Drury follows the flight of his solo home run off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Kyle Freeland in the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Denver.

Cincinnati Reds’ Brandon Drury follows the flight of his solo home run off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Kyle Freeland in the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Denver.

Statcast says he’s underperformed statistically based on his quality of contact. He rates among the league’s best in exit velocity, barrels and percentage of hard-hit balls.

The 29-year-old Drury worked with his dad in the offseason on simplifying his swing.

“It’s already hard enough to hit, so for me, when I’m in the box and thinking about my mechanics, I have no chance,” Drury said. “I just want to be as simple as I can and be more focused on attacking a good pitch to hit rather than thinking about what my mechanics are or what I’m doing with my body.”

Drury entered Tuesday’s series opener in Milwaukee with 52 at-bats this season. He hasn’t had more than 84 big-league at-bats in a season since he was a regular starter with Toronto in 2019.

“He’s a guy that just needed the opportunity, really,” Bell said. “Some of those opportunities have been tougher to come by for Brandon. I think that’s given him the confidence to go out and be the player he knows he’s capable of. It’s been fun to watch.”

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Jonathan India traded for Willy Adames? Rays wanted Reds star

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