Reds' recent turnaround makes Nick Krall's trade deadline plans crystal clear

The Reds are back in the fight for a playoff spot in the National League.

Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds
Chicago Cubs v Cincinnati Reds / Jeff Dean/GettyImages

After winning 8 of their last 10, which included a 7-game win streak against the Colorado Rockies and the sliding Chicago Cubs, the Cincinnati Reds' plans for the summer have changed drastically.

Just two weeks ago, this team found itself at the bottom of the NL Central, mired in bad injury luck and with ideas of postseason opportunity shrinking by the minute. Now, the Reds are tied for second place in the division, and are right in the middle of the Wild Card race.

The return of TJ Friedl has been pivotal. Friedl and Stuart Fairchild have been strong options for Reds manager David Bell in the leadoff spot and Elly De La Cruz has been crushing baseballs behind them.

The Reds' playoff hopes are alive and well

Jeimer Candelario looks to have finally turned it around after a weak start to the year. He's hitting .308/.325/.564 in the first several days of June, a stark turnaround from early April.

However, Matt McLain remains out indefinitely. The Reds best player from last season could potentially return in September, but it'll depend on how his rehab progresses. Plus, Christian Encarnacion-Strand remains on the IL recovering from a broken wrist.

Even with infielder Noelvi Marte expected to return from his PED suspension later this month, the Reds could use some help in the lineup if they want to remain competitive throughout the summer.

The Reds should be buyers at the MLB trade deadline

Just because this team has had a few good weeks doesn't mean they can get complacent. President of baseball operations Nick Krall has a tall task ahead of him, but the central idea is clear — the Reds should be buyers this summer.

With everyone healthy, the Reds have a logjam in the infield. We spent a lot of time this winter thinking about how to handle playing time for this group of guys. One thing the Reds could definitely use, however, is a stud corner outfielder.

It's not likely that this team would pursue a player of Juan Soto's caliber, even if that type of player were available. However, someone like Brent Rooker, Taylor Ward, or Connor Joe would provide the kind of offensive boost the lineup needs.

Do the Reds need to look for pitching or hitting at the MLB trade deadline?

The pitching side might be more difficult. Realistically, the Reds either need to acquire another starter or somehow turn Frankie Montas into an ace. The latter will be a challenge, and the problem with the former is that the market for starting pitchers is thin right now.

That market should develop as we get deeper into the summer, but whether Krall can acquire someone to complement Hunter Greene, Andrew Abbott, and Nick Lodolo atop the Reds rotation remains to be seen.

Regardless of which specific players become available, the Reds have the opportunity to capitalize on a weak division and make a push down the stretch. Krall should focus on supplementing this roster and try to help the Reds win playoff games this year.

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