Should the Reds consider adding A's starter Paul Blackburn at the MLB trade deadline?

Perhaps a player with team-control beyond 2023 would be a better fit for the Reds.

Oakland Athletics pitcher Paul Blackburn
Oakland Athletics pitcher Paul Blackburn / Kavin Mistry/GettyImages

This year's MLB trade deadline will look quite different in Cincinnati. After dealing away Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, and others last summer, the Cincinnati Reds will be looking to add major league talent prior to August 1st.

With Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo still on the mend, and the underwhelming performance from Luke Weaver, if the Reds hope to make a postseason run, acquiring some quality starting pitching at the MLB trade deadline is an absolute must.

Two-month rentals like Lucas Giolito and Michael Lorenzen may not be the best path forward for the Reds. Perhaps Cincinnati should be in the market for a pitcher who won't become a free agent during the offseason.

Trading for the A's Paul Blackburn makes a lot of sense for the Reds

The Oakland Athletics are without a doubt going to be selling at the MLB trade deadline. Last year, the A's were in the midst of a rebuild and traded away starter Frankie Montas. Not much has changed as the rebuild is still in full swing and Oakland will be looking to add young players to the organization's farm system.

Paul Blackburn was an All-Star for the A's a year ago, and perhaps could be available in a trade before thee August 1st deadline. Though not a frontline starter, Blackburn will not be a free agent during the upcoming offseason.

Blackburn is 1-2 in 2023 with a 5.48 ERA and 44 punch-outs in almost 43 innings of work. While Blackburn's current stats leave a lot to be desired, they certainly look better than what Reds fans have seen from Luke Weaver of late.

While the price tag would not be exorbitant, the fact that Blackburn is under team control through 2025 means that he wouldn't come cheap. Contending teams throughout Major League Baseball will be looking to upgrade their starting rotations as the trade deadline approaches.

Should the Reds decide against adding a veteran arm at the trade deadline, they could always go with a young pitcher like Christian Roa, Connor Phillips, or someone else from the minor leagues. But if the front office has an interest in adding a more polished starting pitcher for the stretch run, perhaps Nick Krall should make a call to the Bay Area.

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