The Cincinnati Reds bullpen has been very good this year. But like every relief unit in baseball, the Cincinnati bullpen has its fair share of weak spots too.
There are enough holes that the Reds have found themselves at the center of some trade rumors. And while starting pitching would seem to be the focal point, bullpen arms have drawn some attention as well.
While adding another left-handed reliever should be addressed at the trade deadline, the Reds may not have to acquire any other relievers via a trade in order to bolster their bullpen.
Activating Reds pitcher Tony Santillan from the IL is the equivalent of a trade deadline acquisition.
Tony Santillan, a pitcher who showed serious promise in his first season, is readying for his return from the injured list. Santillan would provide the Cincinnati Reds with another middle reliever that has the ability to run the velocity up and add a tight breaking pitch as well.
Santillan has missed the entire season to this point with a combination of a back injury and a knee injuries. If he's able to recapture his 2021 form, Santillan will add tremendous depth to a bullpen that has been pieced together over the past few weeks. Santillan is still just 26 years old and under team control through 2026.
For a small market team like the Reds, it is crucial that the front office doesn't overreact to their newfound success at the trade deadline, and in turn butcher the farm system in order to make a all-in run at the postseason.
Instead, being able to add a piece like Tony Santillan, and hopefully fellow reliever Tejay Antone, would be an incredible luxury for the Reds. Did I mention it wouldn't cost them a single prospect?
Not only will will the addition of Tony Santillan feel like trade deadline acquisition for the Reds bullpen, but when Nick Lodolo finally returns from the IL, he should boost the team's starting rotation as well.
The Cincinnati Reds front office may still look to be buyers at the trade deadline, but adding some of those players who've missed extended time due to injury will be no different than making a key trade at the deadline.