The Cincinnati Reds have found their rhythm heading into the All-Star break. They are coming off of three consecutive wins against the Milwaukee Brewers, and they are closing in on the division lead. The Reds still sit in second place in the NL Central, trailing the Brewers by only four games. After their strong finish to the first half of the season, the Reds are in prime position to improve the roster to make a playoff push. The MLB Trade Deadline is July 30th, and the Reds have multiple positions that need an upgrade.
Reds Should Buy at MLB Trade Deadline
The Reds bullpen has played much better over the past three weeks, but throughout the season is still one of the worst bullpens in the MLB. Their 5.15 ERA is the fourth-worst in the MLB, and they have walked the second-most batters in the league with 176. They have key pieces out due to injury that should be back soon in Lucas Sims, Tejay Antone and Michael Lorenzen, but they still should look to improve the group.
Shortstop is another position that the Reds could look to upgrade. Injuries play another key role in the Reds being so thin at SS, with Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel sidelined. Unlike the bullpen injuries, these two are not expected back any time soon, and banking on their return would be a disaster. Both Moustakas and Senzel have been injury prone since their arrival. The Reds should look at an outside solution to their SS issue.
Reds MLB Trade Deadline Targets
Trevor Story will be the most sought after SS, and is one of the best players on the trading block. The Rockies’ season has taken a turn for the worse, and Story is set to become a free agent after the season. The Rockies trading Story is inevitable, and even though he will command a lot in return, the Reds should be interested.
His arrival would take the Reds offense to another level. They would have to give up some valuable prospects, but if the Reds front office is serious about winning and contending this season, they must put in an offer. This front office is not accustomed to making these types of trades in the middle of a season, but maybe they should be. Story is batting .249, with 11 HRs and 42 RBIs, and a trade to a winning team could be the motivating factor in turning his season around.
Richard Rodriguez is one of the top relievers that could be on the market. The Pirates are a disaster, but Rodriguez is under control for a few more seasons. Considering how bad they are, they could look to ship him out for some younger prospects.
The Reds desperately need another arm, and Rodriguez has an ERA of 2.29 and a 0.764 WHIP on the season. He has the talent to pitch in high leverage situations, and would provide much needed depth for a struggling Reds bullpen. If they could get healthy and land Rodriguez their bullpen could become a strength as they push towards the playoffs.
Can the Reds Make a Deep Playoff Run?
The Cincinnati Reds have the talent as the roster is presently constructed to make the postseason. If they add depth to the bullpen or a new SS, they can make a deep run in the postseason. If they elect not to make a trade, then they do not have the depth to make a deep playoff run. It’s as simple as that.
As talented as their offense is, their pitching is not equipped to win multiple games in the playoffs. Making a move at the MLB Trade Deadline for a talented reliever or two could drastically change the conclusion of the season. That could have a trickle-down effect on free agency too. It shows the players the front office is committed to winning right now and not in the future.
The Reds have key free agents that could be leaving Cincinnati after the season. Winning this year could be the factor that keeps players such as Nick Castellanos in Cincinnati long term. David Bell must encourage the front office to be aggressive on the trade market, and a deep postseason could be in order if the Reds improve.