3 pitchers the Reds should target at the trade deadline to relieve their overworked bullpen

The Reds bullpen looks exhausted. How can Cincinnati's front office give them some help?

Oakland Athletics pitcher Trevor May
Oakland Athletics pitcher Trevor May / Brandon Vallance/GettyImages
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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.

2. Reds should target Athletics RHP Trevor May at the MLB trade deadline.

If there's one team looking to sell at the MLB trade deadline, it's the Oakland Athletics. The A's will be looking to move anything that's not nailed down prior to August 1st, and Trevor May could be a nice pickup on behalf of the Cincinnati Reds.

The veteran's strikeout-rate is down considerably from year's past and walks have been a problem this season. In fact, May has as many strikeouts (23) as he does free passes. That's usually not a good combination.

But May carries salary of little less than $3-million for the remainder of the 2023 season, so the right-hander would fit nicely into the Reds payroll. May is 2-4 with a 4.73 ERA, but has performed much better over his last several outings.

Since the beginning of June, May has appeared in 17 games and recorded nine saves. The 33-year-old owns a 2.87 ERA during that span and 15 punch outs in 15.2 innings pitched.

This is a low-risk trade that really shouldn't cost the Reds much in terms of prospect capital. Just like Cincinnati last August, Oakland will be looking to rid themselves of any veteran on an expiring deal, even if it nets them little more than a lottery ticket.

3. Reds should target White Sox RHP Lance Lynn at the MLB trade deadline.

I'm going to keep pounding this drum until the Chicago White Sox figure out how they plan to approach the MLB trade deadline. One of the best ways to help a tired bullpen to to subtract the number of innings they're required to cover. Enter Lance Lynn.

While not the same pitcher he was in the past, Lynn is still an effective starter who can give David Bell six or seven innings each time he takes the hill. Is he going to give up home runs? Yes, but that's the norm for almost every pitcher who toes the rubber at Great American Ball Park.

Adding Lynn would buy the Reds time until Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo return from the IL. It also gives Nick Krall a contingency plan in the even that one of the young starters reaches an innings limit. While it's been said that Andrew Abbott has no restrictions heading into the second-half of his rookie season, that remains to be seen.

By adding Lynn to the starting rotation, Bell could move Luke Weaver to the bullpen. For all the struggles that Weaver has incurred as a member of the rotation, adding the right-hander to the bullpen would give Cincinnati a pitcher who can cover multiple innings.

If the Cincinnati Reds entered the month of September with Lance Lynn, Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Graham Ashcraft, and Andrew Abbott in the rotation, fans would have to feel pretty good.

The bullpen could then feature Lucas Sims, Alexis Diaz, Ian Gibaut, Buck Farmer, Tejay Antone, Alex Young, Vladimir Gutierrez, and Fernando Cruz. Pitchers like Luke Weaver, Brandon Williamson, Ben Lively, Daniel Duarte, Tony Santillan, and Levi Stoudt would all be available as well.

Next. 5 players who won't survive. 5 Reds players who won't survive the trade deadline. dark