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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2. Reds should target NL Central rival pitcher Michael Fulmer at the MLB trade deadline.

The Cincinnati Reds relief corps has seen some questionable names pop up already throughout the 2023 season. Ricky Karcher, Alec Mills, and Jake Wong have all seen time on the mound for David Bell this season.

The Reds bullpen has seen a plethora of injuries to pitchers like Casey Legumina, Reiver Sanmartin, Tony Santillan, and the workload to pitchers like Alex Young, Alexis Diaz, and Lucas Sims has been extremely heavy. This is unsustainable and reinforcements are necessary.

With the Chicago Cubs recent struggles, the North Siders have become a dark horse option to flip their roster upside down in order to continue their rebuild as the MLB trade deadline approaches. Chicago will likely be looking to unload a number of expiring contracts in order to get maximum value heading into 2024.

Michael Fulmer is on one such deal, as he'll be a free agent after 2023. Fulmer (0-5 4.50 ERA) hasn't put up great numbers this season, but he hasn't been hit very hard either. Fulmer ranks in the 90th percentile in average exit velocity and hard hit-rate according to Baseball Savant.

Adding Fulmer doesn't automatically put Cincinnati in the driver's seat of the NL Central, but would definitely provide the Reds with much needed depth down the stretch. The Cubs, who may be clinging to hope, may no want to part with Fulmer, but Cincinnati Reds GM Nick Krall should at least inquire as to the price tag for the former AL Rookie of the Year.