Blue Jays trade rumours: Jay Bruce edition (UPDATED)
The Toronto Blue Jays are a possible trade destination for Cincinnati Reds outfielder Jay Bruce, according to a report from Jon Heyman
A big day out of Blue Jays spring training just got stranger with a rumour that Toronto is interested in acquiring Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds.
Though Bruce would still have to approve a move to the Blue Jays, Heyman goes on to suggest that negotiations could be ongoing.
The 28-year-old Bruce stands 6’3″, 225 pounds and has spent the entirety of his eight-year Major League career in Cincinnati. Bruce has posted an ugly batting average over the past two years, but as a left-handed bat, he packs some pop.
With 26 home runs in 2015 and three consecutive campaigns of 30+ home runs from 2011 to 2013, his power potential in the Rogers Centre and American League East would be significant.
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That said, there’s more to baseball than hitting home runs (the room gasps!). Bruce posted an ugly 0.1 WAR in 2015 and a -0.9 the year prior to that as defensive shortcomings and a taste for strikeouts hobbled the two-time All Star.
Bruce is due $12.5 million this coming season and has a $13 million team option in 2017 with a $1 million buyout.
The obvious question is: how does this fit? Bruce has played primarily as a right-fielder, so on the current roster, he would most likely figure in to the left-field picture with Michael Saunders while pushing Dalton Pompey back to triple-A. This is, of course, assuming that no outfield pieces leave in any (still hypothetical) deal.
Beyond that, is Jay Bruce truly an upgrade? Especially at that salary?
Ken Rosenthal has since confirmed that the Blue Jays are attempting to acquire Bruce. Stay tuned for further details throughout the evening.
—UPDATE, 7:00 ET
—UPDATE, 10:00 ET
Reports now indicate that the deal is moving ahead pending medicals. Details have yet to be announced regarding the financial responsibilities.