The Cincinnati Reds bullpen has been, arguably, the biggest surprise of the 2023 season. Cincinnati's relief corps owns the sixth-best ERA in the National League after ranking 13th in the category last season.
But the Reds bullpen needs some help. Among NL teams, only the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies have turned to the bullpen more than the Reds this season. Buck Farmer, Ian Giabut, Lucas Sims, and Alexis Diaz have all logged over 40 innings pitched this season.
While Tejay Antone, Vladimir Gutierrez, and others may be returning soon, it may not be soon enough. Which three pitchers should the Cincinnati Reds target at the MLB trade deadline in order to help relieve their overworked bullpen?
1. Reds should target White Sox RHP Reynaldo Lopez at the MLB trade deadline.
The Chicago White Sox, even in the American League Central, are basically out of the playoff hunt. With that in mind, it's time for the baseball executives on the South Side of Chicago to start selling.
Reynaldo Lopez, who'll be a free agent after the season, will undoubtedly be on the trade block. The right-hander has tremendous velocity, in the 97th percentile according to Baseball Savant, but Lopez's 12.4-percent walk-rate is bit concerning.
Both Lucas Sims and Alexis Diaz have seen their share of struggles with walks late in games this season, so adding another arm that misses the strike zone may not be the wisest move. That said, just like Sims and Diaz, Lopez has an above-average whiff-rate and can get batters out.
Reynaldo Lopez has 52 punch outs in 42 innings of work this season, and since the beginning of June, the 29-year-old owns an ERA of 2.50 with opposing batters hitting just .169. Nick Krall and the Reds front office should look to add another reliever to the backend of the bullpen at the MLB trade deadline.