The Reds have overtaken the Brewers and Pirates and now lead the NL Central. What deals should they make, or not make, at the trade deadline?
The Cincinnati Reds have taken the baseball world by storm, currently riding the longest win streak in the MLB, closing in on double-digit wins in a row. Their roster has playoff potential, even NL Central-winning potential. If they can put all their pieces together, they can go further than anybody would expect.
But they don’t have all the pieces of their roster just yet. One of their top prospects, Christian Encarnacion-Strand currently resides in Triple-A, awaiting his call-up. There are plenty of Reds also on the injured list. Just recently, the Reds parted ways with veteran outfielder Wil Myers, showing the front office’s true desire to win.
This desire will expand to the trade market as well.
Reds Rumors: 3 trades to make to win NL Central, 1 to avoid
3. The Reds need to make a move for LHP Aroldis Chapman
One of the biggest holes in the Cincinnati Reds roster is their lack of left-handed pitching in the bullpen. They feature just one lefty arm in the MLB and Triple-A bullpens combined. To make matters worse, that arm, Alex Young, has reverse splits making him less effective against lefties than against righties. Righties are slashing .220/.258/.373 against Young while lefties are slashing .268/.359/.429 against him.
Besides just missing a lefty, the Reds are missing high-end velocity and a high-leverage reliever in their bullpen. Alexis Diaz and Lucas Sims have been great in high-leverage situations, but Buck Farmer and Ian Gibaut have been better in middle-relief situations. The addition of a high-leverage reliever could lighten the load on everybody involved, taking some of the weight off of their shoulders and allowing them to play within themselves.
This is where a reunion with their old closer, Aroldis Chapman would make sense. Chapman would provide them the lefty out of the bullpen they so desperately need as well as adding a much-needed high-leverage reliever. Chapman also has the next-level velocity that the Reds bullpen is lacking. A reunion with Chapman would be a cheap option that the Reds definitely need to explore.