The Chicago White Sox are ready to talk trades if anyone is willing to make a phone call. Given how their season has gone, it’s no surprise that they are willing to move some of their better players at this point. Entering Friday they are far and away the worst team in baseball with a 15-48 record. They are 26 games out of first place. Jeff Passan of ESPN reported that Chicago is open to moving left-handed pitcher Garrett Crochet, outfielder Luis Robert Jr., and right-handed pitcher Erick Fedde. With the Cincinnati Reds on a hot streak and in a league where there might only be three good teams, adding talent could potentially go a long way.

The question is, do any of the White Sox players make sense for the Reds? Cincinnati just optioned Graham Ashcraft to Triple-A, leaving them with four starting pitchers. Brandon Williamson is currently rehabbing his way back from the injured list and potentially has two starts remaining before the team has to make a decision on whether to activate him and either call him up or option him to the minors, or put him back on the injured list. He’s been very good on rehab, making one start with High-A Dayton and three more with Triple-A Louisville and has allowed one run in 13.2 innings so far.

Adding a starting pitcher could be a good idea. But the team may prefer to see what Williamson can do before making a real decision with regards to trying to acquire a starter. Still, if they were going to, Garrett Crochet or Erick Fedde would seem to fit in nicely. Crochet isn’t a free agent until after the 2026 season. Initially used as a reliever from 2020-2023 (he missed all of 2022), his move to the rotation this year has gone well as he’s posted a 3.49 ERA in 13 starts and has 15 walks with 93 strikeouts in 69.2 innings.

Erick Fedde spent much of his career pitching for the Washington Nationals. And for most of that time he struggled, posting a 5.41 ERA in parts of six seasons with them – mostly in the rotation. Last year he headed to Korea to pitch and was dominant, posting a 2.00 ERA and striking out 209 batters with just 35 walks in 180.1 innings. That was enough to get him another shot in the big leagues and he’s taken full advantage of it so far this year, posting a 3.27 ERA in 13 starts. In his 74.1 innings he’s walked 22 and struck out 73. He made some slight adjustments on a few of his pitches since 2022 and it’s paid off for him this season.

Cincinnati seems to have 900 outfielders, but TJ Friedl is the only one who plays every day. Spencer Steer is in the lineup every day, but it’s not always as an outfielder. Perhaps that changes if and when everyone is healthy and there are fewer opportunities for him to play some infield, but right now that’s not the case.

Luis Robert is in his 5th big league season and he’s hit .277/.324/.500 for his career. Last year was the first time he was healthy enough to play a full season and he had 36 doubles, a triple, and 38 home runs. When healthy, Robert has been very productive. The problem is that he simply hasn’t been healthy for much of his career. He’s under contract through 2025, but there are also team options for $20,000,000 for both 2026 and 2027 with a $2,000,000 buyout on each of those two seasons.

There aren’t too many trades that take place in early June. Teams with players they want to move tend to hold out as long as they can in order to have more suitors to play off of each other to try and up their price. But for teams looking to add, doing so early certainly is beneficial as you get that player for more time in the season and in theory helps you win more games, it makes sense to try and get a deal done sooner rather than later.

94 Responses

  1. wkuchad

    I’d take Robert in a second as a salary dump for none of our top prospects.

    But if Chicago is looking for both top prospects and taking on his salary (which they likely are), I think I’d pass. The injury history scares me way too much.

    Reply
    • Rut

      Robert is made of glass. Can’t imagine same fans that melted down over Senzel being injured all the time being ok with paying $20million a year for a guy who isn’t going to play a full season…

      Reply
      • Jim Walker

        From 2021 through 2023 Robert accrued 10.7 bWAR. That’s a seasonal rate of 3.57 bWAR. Over that period he averaged 431PAs a season. At these rates, he would be *underpaid* at $20m per season.

      • AllTheHype

        Additionally Jim, better health is actually an upside to his game. Is it easier to acquire better skills or better health as an upside? I would argue the latter.

      • DK in Erie PA

        To be clear, while Senzel was injury prone he was also not very good when he did play. There’s that difference too

    • west larry

      DREAM ON. The WHITE SOX want several premium prospects for Roberts. Hard pass. He keeps injuring that hip. which makes me worry that it’s a chronic condition. I like Fedde. but we are deep in starting pitching. I would like to get a premium reliever or two from Oakland or the Rookies. but the price would probably be steep.

      Reply
      • wkuchad

        I’m not dreaming, I’m just saying I wouldn’t do it for several premium prospects.

      • Melvin

        A couple of premium relievers just might put us over the hump.

      • Brian

        The Reds need to sort in-house for now. Strand, Marte and Williamson are back this month and the bats have been heating up. More evaluation time is need on several players to determine if they are keeper’s or not. I’d be in hold mode for now unless it’s a deal for very good, established player and that’s not happening.

  2. Oldtimer

    Not quite early June but the Reds trade on May 29, 1971 (for George Foster) turned out pretty darn good.

    Reply
    • Mauired

      One of the best trades in Reds history. Got the 1977 MVP. He also hit over 50 homers that year. Only guy in MLB between 1966 and 1989.

      Reply
      • Mauired

        Foster didn’t really breakout and become a starter until he was 26 in 1975.

        Maybe Benson is capable of doing the same.

      • Oldtimer

        One of the luckiest trades. Howsam wanted young OF Bernie Williams but SDG said No, how about George Foster instead?

    • Dewey Roberts

      Foster was actually traded from San Francisco to the Reds in 1971.

      Reply
    • H.B.

      Williamson and Strand are both looking at surgery and are out for the season.

      Reply
  3. wkuchad

    The turnaround our offense has made is pretty amazing. Over the last 15 days, we have six starters with an OPS of .886 and above.

    Luckily, our starting pitching has been fairly consistently good. If we can hit with some permanence (versus a streak), we could be in good shape.

    Adding starting pitching is always good, but I hold off for now and see how Williamson does.

    Reply
  4. Melvin

    “it makes sense to try and get a deal done sooner rather than later.”

    I agree 100%

    Reply
  5. Optimist

    Fedde’s record is a bit questionable – he may just be another 5th starter, but Crochet and Robert are very valuable. The Reds certainly have prospects to deal, and taking on Roberts salary would be impressively surprising, and it’s about the time when the market gets cooking – so, it may happen. Still, not impossible, but I expect they’re more interested in lower-cost, short-term talent rentals, and really cannot blame them for that.

    A healthy Roberts is a serious, fairly priced, AS quality, multi-year addition though . . .

    Reply
  6. Melvin

    When it comes to pitching I’m more inclined to look for high end relievers.

    Reply
  7. Melvin

    I’m not yet sold on Robert Jr. Injuries are a big red flag for me. I know risks are necessary but it might be too much of a potential disaster considering what the Whitesox would want in return.

    Reply
    • Jim Walker

      The Reds would likely try to ship one of their part time “regular” OF to the WSox in the deal to cut into the prospect capital they would have to send. It also could be that the reason Dunn and Hurtubise are up is to advertise them for deals.

      And realistically speaking which is the worst risk, a SS prospect coming off shoulder surgery who has peak to date is 20PAs at Class AA or a guy who has posted 12+ bWAR in 3 full seasons plus the COVID year, including 7.1 bWAR on 996PA in 2022-23??

      Reply
      • Melvin

        ” It also could be that the reason Dunn and Hurtubise are up is to advertise them for deals.”

        Or to see if they can handle the backup/occasional start load if Fraley and/or Benson is traded. You are correct.

        As far as Arroyo I guess it’s more of a gut feeling for me.

      • Doc

        Scary that Robert’s injuries are hip and wrist, multiple times, according to an earlier post. Both of those body parts are essential to a power hitter.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Keep Hurtabise. Not sold at all on Dunn.

  8. mac624

    I’d kick the tires for sure, but I also think since they are the only sellers at this point, the asking price will be outrageous. I don’t blame them either, as maybe there are teams desperate enough in early June to pay premium what can be had for cheaper later. As for the Reds, if they can keep Lowder and Collier and still make something work, then I’d say yes.

    Reply
  9. Melvin

    When looking at the Reds site and the team leaders in certain categories Jonathan India leads with a .244 BA. If not Robert Jr. it should be someone else if at all possible. We still need help. They may have to make tough decisions on the platoon situation in RF.

    Reply
    • wkuchad

      But you can’t base it on average alone. Walks and hitting with power matter just as much as batting average. We currently have 9 average to above average hitters. 8 of those are between for sure starters and borderline starters. We also have 2 pieces coming back soon – Marte and CES. They’re both a wild card on how they’re going to perform.

      I’m all for improving the team, but I want it to make sense for both short-term and long-term.

      Last year, we NEEDED a starting pitcher. It wasn’t a want, it was a need (a desperate need). Right now, I agree offense is our biggest area for improvement, but what happens with CES and Marte come back and are hitting. I’m all for a trade to improve the team, I just don’t want to mortgage the future AND hamstring with payroll issues next year if it’s not a big improvement.

      Reply
      • Melvin

        I agree it definitely needs to be an improvement if we are going to do anything and BA is not everything but it is still pretty bad when your team leader has a .244 average don’t you think? I know the game has changed a lot but in years past players were released with a .244 BA.

      • wkuchad

        Stephenson at .267 and Fraley at .289, but I get your point.

      • Melvin

        Yeah. I guess those two don’t have enough ABs to be listed as leaders yet. If not that tells us something about TS and his playing time. He’s been playing more lately. Hope that continues.

      • Mauired

        @melvin. Yeah they finally started DHing Stephenson when Maile starts.

        Coincidence they started winning more?
        I looked it up about a week ago. Reds were losing 76% of games Stephenson didn’t start.

    • Chris

      Reminds me of bringing in a Greg Vaughn. Boy was he something in ’99.

      Reply
  10. MBS

    Look Robert Jr is a stud, and he’s a huge injury risk. He’s also very affordable over the next three and a half years. This lines up really well with our likely competitive window’s time and budget.

    I don’t know what it will take to get him, but they should be talking to the Sox in order to find out. Personally, I am very willing to trade multiple top 100 prospects to get him. I would not trade a ML player, or Lowder, but everyone else would be on the table.

    I don’t think we really need to trade for a starting pitcher. As bad as things were going for Ashcraft, he was still producing like most #5’s produce. I also really like Williamson, and I hope to see him take Ashcraft’s spot for the time being. Martinez, and Spiers are pretty good 7th, and 8th options. If things change with our starters by the trade deadline, I reserve the right to change my mind.

    Reply
    • Melvin

      “I would not trade a ML player”

      You wouldn’t trade Benson and/or Fraley as part of the package?

      Reply
      • Jim Walker

        I’d trade them both if I had to in order to get Robert Jr. Once CES and Marte are back there is going to be no room at the inn for somebody (or 2); and, I value both Marte and CES ahead of both Fraley and Benson (close call on Benson).

      • Melvin

        If we could trade Fraley and Benson plus two mid level prospects for Robert Jr. I’d do it in a heartbeat. It would be worth the risk. Not going to happen though I’m afraid.

      • Mauired

        Do you think that’s what White Sox want from Reds?

        They are going to start the ask for Robert with Arroyo, Lowder, AND Collier.

        It’s too much risk for a player that doesn’t play no matter how good he is.

    • Optimist

      I’m with Melvin here – we have several on the 26-man who are trade candidates. Nobody under age 26, but one or two MLBers, and one or two or three prospects may get Roberts and some Sox prospects in return.

      They’re likely asking for 2 or more of the Reds top-10 prospects, and some more beyond that.

      Reply
    • MBS

      Ok, maybe I should clarify that comment. “I wouldn’t trade any ML player” that the Sox would likely ask for in trade.

      I don’t think Benson, Fraley, Montas, India, Sims, Wilson, Farmer, Hurtubise, Dunn, Espinal, and Maile are likely candidates for a rebuilding Sox team.

      I’d keep the core of our young ML players.

      Reply
      • JB

        MBS- exactly. The Sox aren’t contending for a few years. They aren’t asking for Fraley and Benson. Now they might take one of those as a throw in but they are after prospects that will be ready in 2 years. If the Reds had Robert and were in the Sox spot would anybody want Benson or Fraley? Hardly.

      • Optimist

        JB – Neither Benson nor Fraley were throw ins. Fraley was a lesser target, but he was certainly offered in place of 1 or 2 more M’s prospects. Benson was the sole target and headed to DFA/MiLB FA and the Reds got him for lower level prospects.

        Point is, Sox may take one or two from the 26-man in stead of 1 or more prospects. If the Reds can get 2 of the Sox players Crochet/Robert/Kopech/Jiminez/Fedde/NOT Pham for 2 high ranked prospects and 2 off the MLB roster, they should do so.

        It limits the hit to the Reds farm and can bring more $$ into the equation.

        Still doubt it happens, but it’s possible.

  11. kypodman

    Crochet is technically already maxed out on his innings increase from last season. It would be a poor idea to trade for him unless he is placed in the bullpen. Roberts strikes out way too much. PASS

    Reply
  12. LDS

    It’s all about how much it costs. Robert, if cheap enough, give it a go. But we also know that Castellini isn’t paying anyone $20m/season. So it’s an RLN pipe dream in all likelihood. Crochet may be a nice add as well. But again, cost is a factor. The Reds need to do something. The team isn’t winning anything as it’s currently constituted.

    Reply
    • Melvin

      “The team isn’t winning anything as it’s currently constituted.”

      Not likely in my book. Not REALLY winning. The times for “wait till next year” are long gone to me.

      Reply
    • Optimist

      TBF, Robert is exactly the $20/yr player current ownership would pay for. It’s essentially 3 1-year deals at 20/yr., and they’ve proven they will pay that, but only for short-term deals. This is a shorter term deal than Moose or Nick, and much shorter than Joey or Homer.

      Now, will they do it? Doubtful, but the salary is probably the 3rd or 4th concern – durability and trading cost seem much more formidable.

      Reply
      • The Duke

        2025 is only $15 million, then two team options at $20 million a year for 2026 and 2027, only a $2 million buyout.

        If Edwin Arroyo, Connor Phillips, and Wil Benson get this done, then do it.

      • MBS

        That’s why I really like the idea. He doesn’t hurt a budget while giving you all-star potential. We have almost as much money guaranteed to Candy, and Candy is about a league average type player.

      • Mauired

        Duke. You want Robert because he’s one of the best Outfielders in all of baseball. Then you think White Sox are going to give him up for a short stop out for the season with shoulder surgery. An outfielder leading baseball in strikeouts, and a minor league pitcher that averages 5 walks a game.

      • LDS

        @Mauired, that’s a good deal if @Duke can pull it off. Krall can’t.

      • Mauired

        I don’t think anyone on the planet can make that deal. Maybe in fantasyland. Only thing that gets Robert on the Reds is 3 of the top 5 prospects. Not worth it for a guy that can’t play 100 games.

      • The Duke

        That was similar to a trade I saw on another site, i’d give more than that

      • Chris

        IMO Edwin Arroyo is like Louder, pretty much not going to be traded. That kid is going to be a stud. And if you every think of moving EDLC to the outfield, Arroyo even looks more important.

      • Chris

        @Mauired, let me get this straight. The deal put up for Arroyo, Benson and Phillips won’t get it done because Robert Jr is one of the best hitters in the game, but then you say only deal that gets it done is for 3 of the top prospects, but then go on to say not worth it for a guy who can’t play 100 games. LOL. Your logic is cancelling itself out. The fact that he can’t stay on the field and makes a legitimate amount of money is precisely why a deal like the three above could get it done. I don’t agree with that deal because I wouldn’t deal Arroyo, but that’s for another argument.

      • Melvin

        “IMO Edwin Arroyo is like Louder, pretty much not going to be traded.”

        I hope you’re right Chris. From what I saw from Arroyo he’s going to be good and the BEST SS in our system out of what I’ve seen so far. Not saying EDLC is not good too or others as well.

      • Mauired

        @Chris. I’m saying I don’t think the white Sox are going to discount his value due to his constant injuries and will want the moon for him.

        I’m also saying Reds should not pay that price because a player that can’t play 100 games is not worth top prospects.

        So I don’t think there will be a match.

        I would love Robert on the Reds. I think he’s great.

        But realistically Reds could end up giving a highly productive (or two) cheap player with several years of control for someone who lives on the IL

  13. Moon

    I think if you can make the team better without mortgaging the future you do it. I think the Reds could use a better catcher. Maile can’t hit and if they can find a guy to share the load with Stephenson that is a better option at the plate (Maile is hitting .181) you go get him. I do not trust the closer Diaz either. I would not mind picking up a dominant closer to go with Diaz. Perhaps that guy is already on the team. I dunno that Chicago can help there, but again, if you can trade with the White Sox and get a player that fits in the clubhouse and makes the team better pull the trigger.

    Reply
  14. DW

    Talk about a rebuild gone wrong. The White Sox acquired so many good prospects and it just didn’t work out. Lots of injuries and underperformance.

    Reply
    • MBS

      Rebuilds are a load of bull that owners use to cash out for a few seasons.

      Reply
    • Optimist

      I just checked some Sox blogs, and perhaps easier deals could be made for Jiminez and Kopech – quirky performance issues this season, but likely much cheaper, under deals for 2-3 seasons, and much greater upside with less expectations.

      While Robert is AS level player, the huge issue is the durability. Jiminez may be AS level, but without the durability concerns.

      Reply
    • Mark A Verticchio

      I wouldn’t trade Marte straight up for him.

      Reply
      • Melvin

        Honestly, considering the injury history, I wouldn’t trade CES straight up for him either. CES has struggled so far this year but he’s going to be a good one for a long time.

  15. DaveCT

    One thing Reds fans can forget is that the playoffs are a complete second season.

    If Robert pushes us into the playoffs, that’s excellent. If Robert pushes us deep into the playoffs, that’s much better.

    Apologies for repeating myself (below). I’ve been beating this drum for a few days.

    Even getting Robert for an Eric Davis-like 120 games a year makes us much, much better.

    If it becomes 100-120 games a year, it is still 100-120 games better than the RH 4th/5th/6th outfield bats currently being asked to do much more than they should. And, again, for a moderate cost.

    Injuries cannot be predicted.

    They can, however, be anticipated, and planned for.

    Krall has demonstrated the ability to recognize this need (depth) snd address it effectively.

    All trades involve risk.

    Opportunities to acquire elite talent are very rare.

    Acquiring elite talent at a very reasonable cost (45 million, 2025-2027) is even more rare.

    Small market teams cannot afford the price tag of high end elite players, ie Betts, Ohtani, Judge; and, consequently should seek opportunities to acquire elite players at more realistic costs.

    We have prospect capital to spend — in the right opportunities.

    This would upgrade the outfield to Steer, Friedl, Robert, with two of Benson, Fraley, Fairchild and Hurtubise.

    This (adding RH power) would support LH batters facing too many LHP pitchers.

    This lessens the responsibility on EDLC, CES, Marte, McLain, Steer, Benson, et al.

    This lowers the dependence on RH batters such as India, Candelario (RH), Espinal, Fairchild, Dunn.

    This improves CF and/or RF defensively; and makes pitchers happy.

    The question is, then, really how much risk to assume. With a Robert, or a Buxton, quite a bit, IMO. With a Senzel, not so much,

    To quote the little kid in the movie Up, when pestering Lou Asner’s old man character if they can keep Dug the Dog:

    “Can we keep him, can we, huh, can we?”

    “No!!!”

    “But he’s a talking dog!”

    Reply
    • Will the Red

      Really, really well argued. And proven MLB success is ALWAYS far more valuable than the maybe of future success by minor leaguers. Not to mention If the folks we currently have end up being GOOD, then where do we put our minor leaguers when they’re ready?

      Reply
  16. RedsGettingBetter

    it seems to me I am reading a last year article about the question if the Reds will add some needed talent. Last year the team needed to deal one or two starters with 2 relievers but the FO refused to do that just waiting for Greene and Lodolo leaving the IL by the end of August. They only traded for Sam Moll… What thing could change their mind this year to move out and get available talent?
    If I had to decide between these three players I would go with Garret Crochet to boolster the starting rotation even more to rest of the season. An OF RHH could be found in other seller team…

    Reply
  17. JB

    Oh great here come all the “great deals”. Let’s offer the Sox all the “great” players we bxtch and moan about. Suddenly they are superstars when it’s time to trade.
    I’m thinking Martini ,Benson , Buck Farmer and Callahan and Hendrick from Chattanooga will get it done. If the Sox say no then try throwing in a gallon of that crappy skyline chili.

    Reply
    • Melvin

      Too bad we still don’t have Harrison Ford. We could throw him in too and that would definitely get it done. lol

      Reply
      • Melvin

        By the way I know it’s popular but personally I’m not a fan of cinnamon in my chili. 🙂

      • doofus

        Forgive me, I know this is irrelevant, but I am the 2024 Chili Champion in my neighborhood. There is no cinnamon in my chili.

  18. Votto4life

    I remember people saying we shouldn’t trade for Tyler Glasnow due to his injury history and he is looking pretty good for the Dodgers about now. Glasnow also only came with one year of control unlike the case with Luis Robert Jr.

    Reply
    • Doc

      Yes, but do you remember all the pitchers people said we should trade for who are injured, not pitching, not pitching well, etc?

      Reply
  19. JayTheRed

    To the people who are thinking the Reds are back to being a winning team; It’s just 5 games we have won and they were against teams that are not good. Cubs are so-so.
    The wind blows so fast on this board about the team being terrible and them being playoff contenders it’s crazy. Patience this board needs.
    Let’s see what happens a bit when we get some of our injured guys back. Things are going in a positive direction but let’s let a few weeks or so go by before we make any rash decisions. In the First week of July the Reds are winning most of their games and we have most of the guys back on the team then we can get excited. We play the division a lot right now so that will help only if they win.
    I know we are not far back in the Wild Card, but it would be nice to win the division. There is a good amount of work to do before the Reds are on top of the standings.

    Reply
    • Votto4life

      I agree. I’m not in the “believe” column yet either. Having said that, despite an absolutely miserable month, the Reds are 15+ in run differential. Far ahead of the Cubs (-14), Pirates (-24) and Cardinals (-46).

      Reply
    • Optimist

      True, to an extent – but keep in mind there’s a difference between being a “winning team” and being a “playoff contender”. At this point of the season only the White Sox are not playoff contenders.

      There’s also a difference between a winning team (82-80) and a playoff winner. There not yet close to that.

      Reply
  20. Melvin

    When thinking about it some more I’m not so sure it will take as much as we might think to get Robert Jr. That long list of injuries could bring the price down somewhat. I do believe we ought to strike now as the price will only go up the closer to the deadline. If I’m the Whitesox though and I DO want to trade him I’d be thinking the sooner the better BEFORE he gets injured again. Kind of like we should have done a few years back with Senzel while he still had value in a much lesser degree of course. Could be the perfect time right now especially if he’s as good as everyone says he is.

    Reply
  21. AMDG

    Fedde reminds me too much of Dan Straily.

    Subpar track record, but got things turned around long enough to get traded for a premium prospect, but never lived up to the fluke season after the trade.

    Crochet, on the other hand, is somebody worth trading for…

    Reply
    • Optimist

      Yep. We already have several Fedde’s. We may only have one or two Crochets.

      Reply
  22. doofus

    Crochet would really be a great addition to the rotation. Three lefties each with a different style; and, Greene and Montas. Ashcraft can move to pen.

    Reply
    • doofus

      The good teams that are confident in their ability to make the playoffs make this deal.

      Reply
  23. doofus

    If EDLC moves to cf then you keep Arroyo, if not include him in a Crochet, Robert, Kopech deal.

    Reply
  24. doofus

    Why be concerned with dealing prospects when you have the 2nd pick in the ‘24 draft? This pick is supposed to be a stud college hitter.

    Reply
    • Jason Franklin

      If the Reds pick Condon or Bazzanna (forgive my spelling), then they should be good to go. My fear is they go outside the box and try to save some cash by signing a guy projected as a 6-10 spot guy just to save some cash.

      Reply
  25. Jason Franklin

    We always overvalue our own players, prospects included. If looking at what the Sox would want, it would probably start with Marte and include Lowder. If you want both Robert and Crochet, you will need those two and probably someone like Dunn plus another top ten prospect. It cost to get better.

    Reply
  26. Hoyce

    Would collier,Jorge and petty get crochet?
    Then go after Kyle Tucker with CES OR marte, Fraley and ashcraft? Something similar to this anyway (might have to give all 4 for Tucker)

    Reply
  27. jmb

    I’d love to see the Reds get Crochet, but I’d also like to see them get Detmers, Ward, and Adell from the Angels. I’d be willing to give up Stewart, Arroyo, and Rodriguez to the Angels (perhaps Fairchild, Dunn, and Hurtubise would also have to go), and I’d be wiling to send Phillips, Allen, and Jorge for Crochet. The Reds then would have the dept to trade Candelario and Montas (and maybe Martinez), as each will be sought after at the deadline.

    Reply

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