3 NL Central rival relief pitchers the Reds should target at the MLB trade deadline

The Cincinnati Reds may need to do the unthinkable in order to bolster their bullpen for the stretch run.

St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Jordan Hicks (12) pitches
St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Jordan Hicks (12) pitches / Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports
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The MLB trade deadline is quickly approaching, and to the surprise of many throughout baseball, the Cincinnati Reds will likley be buyers. Even more surprising might be the recent proclomation from the St. Louis Cardinals that they're going to be sellers.

The Reds will be in the market for bullpen help at the 2023 trade deadline. They need to continue to upgrade their relief corps in order to have a reliable backend in order to close out games may be essential for Cincinnati to make a push toward the postseason.

It's rare to see clubs do business within their own division. Nothing crushes a GM more than trading away a young prospect only to watch that player thrive within their own division for years to come. But, the Reds may want to take a look at these three relievers from within the NL Central.

1. Reds should target NL Central rival pitcher Jordan Hicks at the MLB trade deadline.

Almost every Cincinnati Reds fan should know the name Jordan Hicks. For the last few seasons, Hicks has been brought in out of the rival St. Louis Cardinals bullpen and fired his 100-plus mph heater toward the dish with great results.

While deals within the division are rare, especially between rivals like the Reds and the Cardinals, Hicks may find himself as an exception at the MLB trade deadline. The flamethrower will become a free agent after the season, so St. Louis will be motivated to move the reliever prior to August 1st.

The Cardinals are a sinking ship and have already directed their focus toward 2024. With little to no hope of contending for the remainder of the season, dealing Hicks seems like a forgone conclusion considering his contract situation.

If you're a contender at the MLB trade deadline, finding a player that throws a 100-plus mph sinker and pairs that pitch with a tight breaking slider that touches the mid-80s would certainly be on your shortlist. The Reds could be a potential suitor for Hicks in the coming weeks.

Jordan Hicks (1-5 3.93 ERA) hasn't been spectacular this season, but there is no denying his electric fastball. Pairing Hicks with Alexis Diaz and Lucas Sims in the backend of the Cincinnati Reds bullpen would give David Bell a terrifc 1-2-3 punch.