The Cincinnati Reds have emerged as surprise contenders in the National League Central this season. While the underwhelming nature of the division is certainly playing a role, the Reds haven been surging of late. Going into Tuesday night's slate, the 38-35 Reds have won nine games in a row and now have a half-game lead over the Brewers for first place. They're also a quite respectable 26-19 since the start of May, and fan enthusiasm surrounding the team has recently been helped along by the call-up of Elly De La Cruz and the return of Joey Votto from injury. 

This is a fairly surprising reversal of fortunes for a team that lost 100 games a season ago and has reduced payroll in recent years. That said, the Reds' front office appears to be poised to respond appropriately to their 2023 successes thus far and add — rather than subtract — big-league talent leading up to the Aug. 1 trade deadline. When asked about the possibility of being "buyers" in advance of the deadline, GM Nick Krall said this (via's Mark Sheldon): 

"Yeah. We're in first place. We're looking to win. That's our goal. I think we want to do whatever we can for this team. We just need to continue to play well and see what's out there.